The Toyota Racing Series is New Zealand's premier formula racing category. The series includes races for every major trophy in New Zealand circuit racing including the New Zealand Motor Cup and the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy. The cars are also the category for the New Zealand Grand Prix – one of only two races in the world with FIA approval to use the Grand Prix nomenclature outside Formula One.


The Toyota Racing Series is an incubator and showcase for the next generation of New Zealand racing talent. The Series offers emerging drivers the chance to gain valuable experience with carbon-fibre composite chassis, aerodynamics and slick tyres.

The Series has the full endorsement of Motorsport New Zealand, the sport's governing body. Until the beginning of 2017, the series was managed by Toyota Racing Management a company under the leadership of Barrie Thomlinson.

Previously, the country's leading drivers had to go offshore to step up to this level. High profile graduates from the series to date include Brendon Hartley, formerly in Formula One with Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, and Earl Bamber.[2] The series has also seen the likes of Daniil Kvyat, Will Stevens, Lance Stroll and Lando Norris compete on their way to Formula One.

For 2008, the series has also gone "green". Fuels for all cars racing in the series are now an E85 biofuel blend of 85 per cent ethanol made from whey, a dairy industry by-product; and petrol. Reduced emissions, reduced carbon "footprint" and reduced use of fossil fuels are all being showcased in this unique New Zealand programme. The 2008 New Zealand Grand Prix thus becomes the first ever biofuel grand prix in the world.

The short summer series (five weekends in five weeks, all in January and February) during the Southern Hemisphere summer has made the series attractive to development drivers from the Northern Hemisphere, as the series takes place during the off-season, serving as single-seater motorsport's equivalent of professional baseball's "winter ball" leagues in the Caribbean and Australia. Drivers from both Europe and the Americas actively participate in the series, as it allows them to develop their skills in an atmosphere similar to the winter ball leagues. A June 2019 FIA World Motor Sport Council decision now allows development drivers to tally Toyota Racing Series with their regular series towards FIA Super Licence points required to be in a Formula One car, meaning the driver can participate in this series, then participate in a series that starts after the end of the Toyota Racing Series, and accumulate points from both series towards F1 approval. [3]


The current championship consists of three rounds, each comprising three races. For 2021 the circuits are:

Previously used circuits include:


Toyota Racing Series Car Engine

2015-2019 The Toyota Racing Series ran a Tatuus FT-50 chassis with modified versions of 1.8L Toyota four cylinder 2ZZ-GE production engines which can produce 200bhp, a six speed Sadev sequential transmission with limited slip differential with a carbon fibre body and a Carbon monocoque chassis built by Tatuus in Italy to full FIA F3 specification.[4] The cars use Michelin S308 tyres (Front 20x54x13, Rear 24x57x13) and weigh approximately 480 kg.

2020- The Toyota Racing Series switched to a new chassis called Tatuus FT-60, identical to the T-318 used in Europe, whereas the new engine will be a 2.0L turbocharged unit developing 270bhp.



Season Driver Team Poles Wins Podiums Fastest laps Points Clinched Margin
2005 New Zealand Brent Collins Brent Collins Motorsport 1 4 10 4 937 Race 18 of 18 33
2005–06 New Zealand Daniel Gaunt International Motorsport 5 7 17 10 1491 Race 21 of 23 479
2006–07 New Zealand Daniel Gaunt International Motorsport 3 9 16 8 1448 Race 21 of 23 328
2007–08 New Zealand Andy Knight Knight Motorsport 6 6 16 2 1230 Race 23 of 23 33
2008–09 New Zealand Mitch Cunningham Giles Motorsport 7 5 13 4 1110 Race 17 of 18 121
2010 New Zealand Mitch Evans Giles Motorsport 8 3 10 5 915 Race 15 of 15 3
2011 New Zealand Mitch Evans Giles Motorsport 6 7 14 5 973 Race 13 of 15 168
2012 New Zealand Nick Cassidy Giles Motorsport 0 5 10 4 934 Race 13 of 15 176
2013 New Zealand Nick Cassidy M2 Competition 0 2 10 6 915 Race 14 of 15 112
2014 Singapore Andrew Tang Neale Motorsport 1 3 9 4 794 Race 15 of 15 4
2015 Canada Lance Stroll M2 Competition 0 4 10 2 906 Race 14 of 16 108
2016 United Kingdom Lando Norris M2 Competition 8 6 11 5 924 Race 14 of 15 135
2017 Australia Thomas Randle Victory Motor Racing 3 2 7 7 855 Race 15 of 15 5
2018 Russia Robert Shwartzman M2 Competition 3 1 9 3 916 Race 15 of 15 5
2019 New Zealand Liam Lawson M2 Competition 4 5 11 5 356 Race 15 of 15 10
2020 Brazil Igor Fraga M2 Competition 3 4 9 3 362 Race 15 of 15 6
2021 New Zealand Matthew Payne N/A[6] 6 5 9 5 287 Race 8 of 9 58
2022 Not held


The winner of the feature race of each round in the championship is awarded a trophy:

  1. Lady Wigram Trophy
  2. The Spirit of the Nation Cup
  3. The NZ Motor Cup
  4. Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy
  5. Dan Higgins Trophy
  6. The New Zealand Grand Prix Trophy

The overall winner of the championship (based on championship points) receives the Chris Amon Trophy[7]


External links