In recent seasons the Toyota Racing Series has produced some elite talent on the world motorsport stage.

Formula One drivers Brendon Hartley, Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat cut their teeth in the one-make series before going on to get their career breakthroughs. Brit Lando Norris looks set to add his name to that list in the next 12 months as he remains contracted to the McLaren operation. Others such as Earl Bamber (WEC), Mitch Evans (Formula E), Alex Lynn (Formula E), Nick Cassidy (Super GT & Super Formula) and Scott Pye (Supercars) have gone on to major global championships.

Four drivers have really stamped their class on the 2018 field through the opening two rounds. Kiwi Marcus Armstrong and his Ferrari Young Driver Academy colleague Robert Swartzman, Dutchman Richard Verschoor and Brit Clement Novalak have all shown their class.

Motorsport commentator Bob McMurray has spent as much time as any watching these guys this summer.

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"If you look at the top four individually - the real newcomer is Clement Novalak," McMurray said. "He hadn't sat in a single-seater car to race until Ruapuna this year. He has been stunningly quick, he has been very consistent. It is so early to understand how this guy is going to go.

"Verschoor is very fast but last year he had full Red Bull sponsorship on the car while this year he hasn't. I am not sure where his career lies. He might have just reached a plateau.

"Armstrong and Swartzman are very equal. They are both in the Ferrari Academy and are being groomed for Formula 3, Formula 2 and F1 - there is a succession plan in place but it is up to them to do the business. Out of the top guys I would say Armstrong is probably the most likely followed by Swartzman, Novalak and Verschoor."

Armstrong leads the series going into this weekend's round at Hampton Downs.