Pukekohe’s Taylor Cockerton has been awarded a free chassis and engine lease for the 2016 Toyota Racing Series which gets underway in Christchurch next weekend.
A new Kiwi Driver Fund has been set up, independent of the Toyota Racing Series (TRS), in order to help Kiwi motorsport drivers compete on the world stage.
“The fund is an initiative that we have been working on for some time,” commented Steve Boyce, one of the trustee’s involved in the Kiwi Driver Fund. “We have some sponsors on board including Michelin and Poste Haste and will look for more as the season goes on.”
“It’s awesome and I am stocked to get the award,” commented Cockerton. “It is a massive help for the team to enable us compete this season. It’s a great initiative to have for Kiwi drivers and I’m proud to have received it.”
Cockerton will take to the track next week as the five round series over consecutive weekends gets underway. The teenager last season won the New Zealand Formula Ford title and steps up to the quicker FT50 Toyota single seater with more power, braking, tyre grip and aerodynamics. He will take to the grid with two other Kiwis and an international field of sixteen highly talented drivers.
“Obviously it is a big award for us,” said Cockerton. “We were approached and applied straight away and Dad found out last week, so a massive boost heading into round one.”
Cockerton’s confidence is growing heading into the first round at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch.
“I’m really looking forward to it. We had a test in the older FT40 Toyota at the circuit a few weeks ago week which has greatly helped to give me confidence in the car.
“We did some data work with Andy Neale who ran me last year in Formula Ford and we learnt a lot about the car, particularly adapting to more power, slick tyres and understanding how they work which is different to what I am used too. We have a plan for the series and won’t have to worry about what the other drivers are doing.”
The Kiwi Driver Fund will continue to evolve with applicants being awarded on merit and as money becomes available. Awards are dependent on Kiwi drivers entering and competing in all rounds of the Toyota Racing Series.
Racing gets underway at the Lady Wigram Trophy meeting at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch 16-17 January 2016 before heading to Invercargill then to the North Island for the final three rounds.