Lando Norris makes history with stunning TRS title win in New Zealand
The 16-year-old Somerset driver claimed the Series with a race to spare – becoming the first Briton since Sir Jackie Stewart in 1967 to win the Grand Prix season finale along the way. After winning the inaugural MSA Formula Championship last season and taking Lewis Hamilton’s accolade as the youngest ever karting world champion the year before, it’s clear to see why Lando is recognized as one of the world’s most exciting young drivers.
The ADD Motorsports-supported racer was justifiably delighted to have added another title to his name after a thrilling weekend’s racing in Manfeil: “It’s been a brilliant experience out here in New Zealand, made all the better by winning the title. I’ve been really consistent and in M2 Competition, have had a great team behind me. To take the title with a race to spare meant I could relax in the final race Grand Prix and to follow in the footsteps of a legend like Sir Jackie Stewart by winning that is a real honour. At 40 minutes and 35 laps it was the longest race I’ve ever taken part in, but I really enjoyed it. To get eight out of 10 poles overall was a great effort in the end. It gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
In 2012 Lando took the Formula Kart Stars series title and then won the WSK Euro Series, CIK FIA European Championship and CIK FIA Supercup a year later. Lando signed-off from his glittering karting career in 2014 as the youngest ever World Championship winner when he took the CIK FIA KF crown, finishing third in the Ginetta Junior Championship and taking the Rookie Cup the same year. This latest success comes hot on the heels of October’s MSA Formula Championship title that he also won with a race to spare.
In Manfeild, Lando was second in the first qualifying by three hundredths, but after a few tweaks to the car took the second by one hundredth – setting him up nicely for the rest of the weekend.
He got into first from the start in race one and kept his lead after the first safety car, but he lost the position at the restart of the next safety car and after being overtaken dropped into third by the end of the race.
The reverse grid of the second race saw Lando start in sixth and after a great start he moved up two places. However saving his new tyres for the final race, he was always at a disadvantage and although had a few attempts at pushing on, had to settle for fourth.
However, with the Series title in the bag, he could relax in the final race – the 35-lap Grand Prix.
Lando got off to a great start, opening up a nice gap until a safety car on lap seven. After a good restart he continued where he left off and opened up another gap to then go on to win the race comfortably.
Lando became the first Briton since Sir Jackie Stewart in 1967 to win the Grand Prix - when the race was part of the Tasman Series and brilliantly took the TRS crown by 115 points in the end, with six wins along the way.
He added: “It’s a brilliant start to the season and I’ve learnt a lot by taking part in the Series. After winning the MSA Formula Championship in October and now this so soon after, I can take a lot of confidence going into the Renault and BRDC this season. Hopefully I can keep what I’m doing and have another great year.”