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Netherlands' Schothorst To Contest 2013 Toyota Racing Series

Netherlands Racer Schothorst To Contest 2013 Toyota Racing Series

Netherlands racer Steijn Schothorst has announced his plans to compete in the 2013 Toyota Racing Series.

Schothorst, 18, comes to New Zealand from a very busy and successful 2012 European season racing in the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup with MP Manor Motorsport, where he recorded three podium finishes on his way to fifth in the series. In his first year in single-seaters in 2011 he raced Formula Ford, finishing fourth in the Benelux (Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg) series.

He says he first learned of TRS just before the 2012 championship and followed it closely during the northern winter.

“There were two drivers going to TRS that I knew: Hannes van Asseldonk and my 2012 team-mate Jordan King. Since then I've been watching TRS on board videos on You tube which I hope will assist me with my preparation, it will be extremely important to be as ready as possible as the circuits are all completely new to me,” he says.

“I am using TRS as a springboard into my second season of Formula Renault this time in the Eurocup series. I'm still at the very beginning of my career. I didn’t do any serious karting and the 2012 season was only my second year in single seaters. I know I still have a lot to learn and I'm very keen to do so in New Zealand!”

Like most young racers, Schothorst has an ultimate aim of making it all the way to Formula One, though he is realistic about the process of securing his ultimate goal.

“Obviously F1 is the final goal but as everyone knows that’s very hard to reach, so alternatively I would say becoming a professional racing driver would be a dream come true,” he says.

Motor racing is a family affair for Schothorst as his love of motorsport developed from family trips to races when he was young. His father and cousin race in the Eurocup Megane trophy and he has raced this season against his brother Pieter in Formula Renault.

“My father was the first one to start racing in our family and we think he infected my cousin, brother and me with the motorsport bug! Of course, there is always rivalry between us but in a positive way: we all love winning and all hate losing!”

Though he is not familiar with the five circuits the championship visits, Schothorst says he is looking forward to visiting New Zealand for the first time.

“I have heard it’s a very beautiful landscape and the racing is very competitive - and that’s the most important thing,” he says.

The young racer is also keen to get to grips with the Toyota FT40 race cars used in the series which are similar to the cars he has driven this year in Europe.

“It shouldn't be too much of a problem, it’s a similar car but with a little more power and TRS use the same tyre so I think I can get familiar with it quickly,” he says.

Steijn Schothorst will race in the 2013 Toyota Racing Series with Hamilton-based M2 Competition, joining recent signings Spike Goddard and Ryan Cullen. Team owner Mark Picher welcomes the addition of Schothorst.

“We already know a little bit about Steijn as Chris Van Der Drift who works with us in TRS has also worked with Steijn in Europe this year. He has been impressed by the progress of Steijn through the season and sees a lot of potential in the young Dutchman. Steijn has some very strong teammates to learn from so we are sure that he will return to Europe in great shape.”

The Toyota Racing Series is New Zealand’s premier international category and the only series that offers aspiring local racers the chance to compete in modern ‘wings-and-slicks’ open-wheel race cars against rising international drivers before heading offshore to the next step in their careers. For the international drivers, the series offers five weeks of intense racing action that propels them back into their northern hemisphere seasons ready to win races and championships.

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