Te Puke racer to contest Toyota Racing Series

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Te Puke racing driver Michael Scott has announced his plan to contest the 2013 Toyota Racing Series with Nelson-based Victory Motor Racing.

Scott (17) is in his final year at Te Puke High School and will take the next step in his bid to become a professional racing driver by moving up into TRS this summer after a competitive 2012 season in Formula First and Formula Ford.

The Toyota Racing Series is New Zealand's premier single-seater motor racing category. It gives young Kiwi racers the opportunity to match themselves against some of Europe's top up and coming drivers.

Twenty-one competitors from 12 countries contested the 2012 championship back to back over five weekends in January and February. The 2013 series is the ninth season of TRS and will follow the same successful format, which enables drivers based in the northern hemisphere to compete in NZ during their off season.

Scott says he is keen to start his first 'wings and slicks' season and is confident he will be competitive with the support of Victory Motor Racing.

Like many of New Zealand's established and rising race drivers, Michael Scott started his racing career in karting before progressing on to Formula First and Formula Ford.

This year, Scott was second in the Formula Ford Championship and fourth in the Formula First series, winning the one-hour Formula First Grand Prix at Manfeild. He was named Formula Ford rookie of the year.

Scott also recently competed in the Victorian Formula Ford series in Australia with results up to fifth overall in fields of up to 40 cars.

"This was a great opportunity to get some more experience on tracks like Philip Island and Sandown during our off season," he says.

Along with eight other promising young drivers, Scott was chosen to attend the Elite Motorsport Academy in Dunedin during July.

Run by Sport NZ and the School of Physical Education at Otago University, the Academy is an intense scholarship camp where drivers are challenged both mentally and physically with a range of tasks to further develop their professional skills. It focusses on physical fitness, nutrition, promotional abilities, media skills, psychometric testing and mental performance.

To cap off a successful 2012 Scott was named Sportsman of the Year for his success in motorsport and most valuable player in 1st XI hockey at the Te Puke High School Sports Awards.

Scott is currently seeking local business support to help him contest this highly competitive series and to ultimately become a professional racing driver.

"I believe this is a unique marketing opportunity and I plan to do my best to lift the profile of any local businesses that choose me to represent them," he says.

Meanwhile, the series has confirmed its TV package for 29013, with more than 40 countries broadcasting the five hour-long programmes being produced by Volt TV.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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