Toyota New Zealand has announced today a COVID-19 support package of up to $500,000 to help Kiwi up and coming single seater drivers, and to continue their support of motorsport in New Zealand. The fund will be managed by the Kiwi Driver Fund.
Focused on finding New Zealand’s next motorsport champion, the Kiwi Driver Fund provides vital support to up and coming Kiwi racing talent in the Toyota Racing Series (TRS), many of whom have gone on to success in the sport’s higher categories.
“Competing in motorsport can cost upwards of $160,000, so many kiwi drivers need the extra financial boost that the Kiwi Driver Fund offers to be able to compete,” says Andrew Davis, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Motorsport.
“It has been a year of both extreme and unique circumstances, and the upcoming motorsport season will be no different. We have looked at the best ways to reduce the 2021 season, and part of this includes funding support to drivers that can pull the majority of a budget together.”
“Our aim is to develop a quality field for this season, and to have a new wave of Kiwi talent back in 2022 when we hope to return to a full and uninterrupted season,” says Andrew.
This funding is a bold step to help young New Zealand motorsport talent through the challenges the motorsport world has seen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand is Toyota New Zealand’s motorsport arm and incorporates both the Castrol Toyota Racing Series and Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship.
A number of talented young Kiwi drivers have tested in TRS cars over the past few months and the funding announcement is designed to get them across the line and into the cockpit of an FT60 racing car for the 2021 season.
“The kiwi motorsport talent that we see when testing continues to exceed our expectations,” says Andrew. “We look forward to the upcoming season and seeing more kiwi drivers given the opportunity to compete.”
This additional funding is reserved for drivers with no previous full-season TRS championship experience. The recipients will test Toyota’s FT50 chassis and will then need to submit an application to the Kiwi Driver Fund by 11th October 2020, with an announcement by 31 October 2020.
The Kiwi Driver Fund application can be found here: