Lando Norris will head “Down Under” early next year in an attempt to successfully defend his Toyota Racing Series title.
The hugely talented British youngster, who celebrates his 17th birthday on Sunday (13 Nov), contested the New Zealand based single-seater series for the first time earlier this year. It was an incredibly successful foray that ultimately became the first of three championship titles Norris won in 2016.
Lando, who awaits the verdict of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards early next month (4 Dec), recorded a highly impressive 11 podium finishes in the 15-race Toyota series – including six wins – as well as eight “poles” and five fastest laps, finishing 135-points ahead of his nearest pursuer. He became the first European driver to ever win the TRS title in its 12-year history, wrapping up the championship with a race to spare. Lando won a race at every meeting – including the New Zealand Grand Prix – and only finished outside the top-nine on one occasion for the M2 Competition team who he drives for again in 2017.
Norris is aiming to become only the third driver – and first non-New Zealander – to win the TRS title for a second consecutive time. Before competing in the 2017 TRS, the premier open-wheel motorsport category held in New Zealand which again consists of 15 races at five events, Lando contests the Suncity Group Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix later this month (17-20 Nov) with Carlin who the talented teenager won the MSA Formula Championship with last year.
“I'm really excited to be heading back to New Zealand to contest the Toyota Racing Series. The aim is obviously to successfully defend my championship title. I thoroughly enjoyed racing in the TRS at the beginning of this year which put me on the road to an incredibly successful 2016 season in which I ultimately won three championships.
“I'll return to race with M2 Competition again - a great team and talented bunch of guys who helped me achieve 11 podium finishes this season. The five tracks are really interesting and will get me race sharp again for when I return to the European season in 2017.”
2017 Toyota Racing Series
14-15 Jan Ruapuna Park, Christchurch (Rds 1-3)
21-22 Jan Teretonga Park, Invercargill (Rds 4-6)
28-29 Jan Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Waikato (Rds 7-9)
4-5 Feb Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo (Rds 10-12)
11-12 Feb Manfeild Autocourse, Feilding (Rds 13-15)