There is no New Zealand Grand Prix in 2022.
Event organisers have cancelled the one-off Toyota Racing Series round, citing border issues and travel restrictions.
The February 11-13 event at Hampton Downs will still go ahead, albeit with a new “signature race” to replace the Grand Prix.
“We have waited until the last possible moment to give potential drivers a chance to get to New Zealand for the GP event,” Toyota GAZOO Racing New Zealand Motorsport Manager Nicholas Caillol said.
“However, with the border restrictions currently in place and all of those drivers simply unable to find MIQ spots, we do not believe we can run the Grand Prix that the spectators or we want to see or that the event itself deserves.
“So, we have very reluctantly decided to cancel this year’s race.”
According to TGRNZ, eight drivers were slated to enter the Grand Prix who could not secure a MIQ spot.
“Those eight would have made a big difference to the quality and size of our grid for the GP and had they been able to get here, we would have been able to put on a great show,” Caillol said.
The only official entry we knew of was James Penrose.
Penrose won the inaugural Castrol scholarship prize late last year, earning him a seat for the race.
The Grand Prix had been a regular fixture on the TRS calendar since 2006.
You have to go back to 2001 for the last year a Grand Prix was not held.
“The New Zealand Grand Prix is one of the most significant events on NZ’s motorsport calendar and the decision to not run in 2022 has not been taken lightly,” MotorSport New Zealand CEO Elton Goonan said.
“We will continue to work with the FIA and TGRNZ to plan for the 2023 season and enable our local drivers to showcase their talent against some of the world’s up-and-coming best.”