Reigning Toyota Racing Series champion Lando Norris has reluctantly decided not to defend his title early next year.
Seventeen-year-old Lando now has various commitments in Europe during this period but equally believes it will be more beneficial for him to remain in Britain to mentally and physically prepare for his first full FIA Formula 3 European Championship season.
Norris, who won the TRS title on his first attempt earlier this year having scored 11 podiums – including six wins – and recording eight pole-positions plus five fastest laps, will now attend next month’s Autosport International Show. The British youngster who went on to claim the Formula Renault Eurocup and Formula Renault Northern European Cup titles this year, was announced as the recipient of the prestigious McLaren Autosport British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Award earlier this month. Norris contests his full maiden F3 Euro series campaign with Carlin, the British team he won the 2015 MSA Formula with and who he drove for in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship plus the F3 races at Hockenheim plus Macau.
“I'm massively disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to defend my Toyota Racing Series title but I believe I’ve taken the right decision although it was a very hard one to reach. 2016 has been a very busy year of racing that started in January and finished in November. I need to be in the best possible shape, mentally and physically, from the start of the Euro F3 season in April – being successful in F3 is my number one priority in 2017 so unfortunately it’s a case of sacrificing the TRS opportunity. Additionally, having recently won the McLaren Autosport Award, I really want to spend time at the Autosport International Show in January where I’ll also now have important commitments for the BRDC.”