New Toyota Racing Series car completes first test

The third-generation Toyota Racing Series car hit the track for the first time in Italy this week ahead of its race debut in 2020.

Formula 2 and European Le Mans Series driver Arjun Maini completed 900km of running in the FT-60, spread across three different circuits – Vairano, Cremona and Franciacorta. 

The new Toyota Racing Series car is built around a Regional F3-spec Tatuus chassis, with power coming from a two-litre turbo 8AR FTS motor. The engine is capable of churning out 285bhp, a sharp increase from the 215bhp produced by the previous 1.8-litre unit.

The series also recently announced a switch to Hankook as the control tyre supplier, the South Korean brand replacing previous partner Michelin. 

“It was a very positive first test,” said Maini, who finished fourth in the 2015 TRS season with the previous FT-50 car. “It went very smoothly with the engine. 

“The engine is powerful and the driveability is very good. The gear change is good and the downshift particularly feels really nice in combination with the new engine. 

“We were running in the very hot conditions being experienced all over Europe currently but temperatures were very stable. From a driver’s point of view it was nice to drive and rewards a style young drivers will need to develop as they move up the single seater ladder.

Arjun Maini, Toyota FT60

Photo by: TRS

“The engine and the Tatuus chassis make for a good combination. It feels like a much more modern car and is a bigger, turbocharged car in keeping with the direction formula racing is now heading, right up to and including F1. 

“It’s definitely the right choice for the next era of TRS in my opinion. This is a good way to prepare your driving style for the bigger formula cars.”

“For a young driver it’s very important to be in the car as much as possible developing all of the skills they need and this next generation of TRS will only add to the quality of the experience drivers will have in the New Zealand series. Overall after three days of driving I think a really significant and relevant step forward.”

The FT-50 car will undergo further testing in New Zealand towards the end of August.

The 2020 season of Toyota Racing Series will begin at Highlands Motorsport Park on the weekend of January 17-19, and conclude with the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild – Circuit Chris Amon in the middle of February.

Arjun Maini, Toyota FT60

Photo by: TRS

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