Highlands Motorsport Park at Cromwell will host a round of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series for the first time in five years next January.
The Central Otago track will be the opening event of the five-round championship between January 10 and 13. It culminates with the 64th New Zealand Grand Prix at Circuit Chris Amon at Manfeild on February 7 to 10.
“We’ve wanted to take the series back to Highlands,” said Mark Whittaker, Toyota New Zealand’s Motorsport Manager.
“The destination will be attractive to the international drivers who come here to get valuable testing and racing kilometres during the northern hemisphere winter.”
“It’s appropriate our top motor racing series starts near the adventure capital of New Zealand – Queenstown,” said Mr Whittaker.
Each round of the championship will have three races, giving drivers 15 races over five consecutive weekends.
At Highlands Motorsport Park, the full 3.9 kms circuit will be used including the cross over bridge section.
Other rounds of the series will be held on following weekends at Teretonga Park, Invercargill; Hampton Downs, North Waikato and Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo before the Grand Prix meeting, one of only two outside Formula 1 to be allowed to use the title, at Manfeild.
This coming summer will be the 15th year the Toyota Racing Series has been held. Past competitors include current Formula 1 drivers Lance Stroll (2015 champion) and Brendon Hartley; Le Mans 24 Hours winners Hartley and Earl Bamber; Formula 3 champions Lando Norris (2016 winner) and Nick Cassidy who also won Japan’s Super GT series last year and 2016 Supercars champion Shane Van Gisbergen.
The full schedule for the 2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series is:
- January 10-13, Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell
- January 17-20, Teretonga Park, Invercargill
- January 24-27, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, North Waikato
- January 31 – February 3, Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo
- February 7-10, Circuit Chris Amon, Feilding