Jacob Douglas enjoyed his second day of testing with the Toyota FT60 putting in around 80 laps in both wet and dry conditions at Hampton Downs yesterday in preparation for a trip to the United States and a US race debut in Formula 4.
The multiple New Zealand kart champion impressed both his management and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand team at the recent Christchurch test day, enough to warrant another run at Hampton Downs. It also helped him and his team make the decision for him to travel to the United States under the wing of Kiwi Motorsport’s Garry Orton and Teena Larsen to test an F3 car and test and race the F4 machine.
Having driven both the earlier Toyota FT50 and the FT60, Douglas will test the US Formula 4 car at Laguna Seca, Button Willow and Mid-Ohio before making his US race debut at Laguna Seca at the start of September. Having just turned 16, he will leave for California on July 8th. He says time in the Toyota racing cars has been invaluable ahead of the US trip, which will mark his overseas single seater debut.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot from being in the TGRNZ environment with the engineering feedback from the team and the driving input from Chris van der Drift,” he said. “I know lots of young racers have had a successful introduction to the US racing scene with Garry and Teena and I’m looking forward to it.
“I’ve got to thank the team behind me and the Subdivision Group for their support so far, it’s a lot easier with good people behind me and around me.”
TC Performance director Tiffany Chittenden, who manages Douglas and a handful of other up and coming Kiwi racers, is in no doubt the youngster from Lincoln is ready to make the big step.
“He’s gone really well in the testing and has shown both speed and the ability to learn quickly so we all thought the time was right for this kind of trip,” said the former Porsche and GT racer.
“He’s learned a lot with the TGRNZ team and he’ll carry on that learning with Kiwi Motorsport. If it all goes well we see no reason why we could not work towards Jacob having a season in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series at some stage.”
The next test is July 21st at Hampton Downs with additional dates also available in July, August, September and October. Whilst all are scheduled for the popular North Waikato circuit, it is also possible TGRNZ will test at other circuits in New Zealand during the same period once its 2022 championship calendar is confirmed.
The FT60 testing opportunities represent incredible value for money in terms of track time and engineering support from TOYOTA GAZOO Racing NZ. Half and full day options are available and in both cases drivers get practice runs with full engineering and data analysis support, driver coaching and a fresh tyre run at the end of their session.
The programme will also feature testing opportunities for the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship.