NZ's top racing series denied international stars due to lack of managed isolation rooms

A lack of rooms in managed isolation has robbed New Zealand's premiere summer motor racing series of international entries.

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The Toyota Racing Series gained an exemption to allow overseas drivers in, but had nowhere to put them if they came. Source: 1 NEWS

The Toyota Racing Series had gained exemption to allow overseas drivers in but there are no beds left, resulting in a trimmed series ahead.

With cars that exactly mirror Formula Three, the series usually pumps several million dollars into local motor sport and the economy but this year’s competition has been reduced to three weekends of action, TRS manager Mark Whittaker said.

“Time has run out on us to get people into managed isolation,” Whittaker said.

“Even knowing they'd have to come and do two weeks in isolation, there was still a heap of international interest, we would've had a good line-up of international drivers.”

From a series that's helped develop 18 Formula One drivers, Covid-19 means this year it'll be all Kiwi, starting with the star-studded New Zealand GP in just over a fortnight.

Whittaker said the influx of Kiwi talent in this year’s series is a positive out of the negative situation.

“We've managed to reduce the costs, that's allowed more Kiwis to get in here.”

This year’s series will take place at Hampton Downs and at Manfeild in Feilding.