One Kiwi race driver will win a competitive drive in the 2016-2017 Toyota TR 86 Championship with a scholarship announced today.
CareVets, a New Zealand owned chain of veterinary clinics and hospitals, has confirmed it will continue the race driver scholarship it established for the 2015-2016 championship. Entry applications are now open and close on August 28. Entrants must be between 15 and 25 years old.
The CareVets Scholarship was created in 2015 by company owner Keith Houston, a passionate motor racing enthusiast who was looking for ways to help foster rising talent in motorsport. It is the first such privately driven scholarship in New Zealand motorsport.
“CareVets is very proud to help identify and support a talented young driver through the scholarship. We are looking to select a driver with ability and potential who might not otherwise receive this kind of support at this stage in their career,” he said.
Mr Houston says the CareVets Scholarship puts the successful driver in a competitive car in a two-car team environment and gives them the tools to visualise, plan and work towards their ultimate goal as a professional racing driver.
Driven by scholarship winners Michael Scott and Ryan Yardley last summer, the two CareVets cars were in the thick of the action, which attracted a record field of 26 entries. Both drivers won races, Scott finishing fourth overall and Yardley fifth and top rookie.
Heading into its second season, the CareVets team will make one scholarship drive available, with 2015-2016 championship Rookie title winner Yardley driving the other car in a full championship campaign.
Ryan Yardley said being selected for the scholarship was a highlight of his career so far and the two-car team was an ‘awesome’ learning environment.
“Right from the first practice at round one I was absolutely pumped! Our goal from the start was to win the rookie title, and the whole team helped me do that. It was fantastic,” he said.
The CareVets drivers worked with their mechanics and driver coach Chris van der Drift at each round. Yardley said the pair constantly honed their speed at every round, and he is looking forward to working in a similar way with the successful scholarship applicant this year.
His goal is to win the championship title.
Michael Scott, meanwhile, heads for the USA in December to take part in the USD $200,000 Road to Indy Scholarship Shootout. He is confident his recent racing experience will stand him in good stead in the intensely competitive shootout.
“I know I’m going up against some incredibly quick drivers but this opportunity could really kick off my motorsport career at an international level.”
Intending scholarship entrants can get a closer look at the TR 86 when it goes on show at the annual CRC Speed Show 16/17 July where TR 86 Championship management will be available to confirm details about the series and the scholarship.
“The Toyota TR 86 championship nurtures Kiwi race drivers on their way up, and we are very proud to help propel one future star on their way with the scholarship drive. For one young racer the CareVets scholarship website will indeed be the pathway to achieving their motor racing dream,” said Mr Houston.