Rookie Enaam Ahmed will go head-to-head with some of the best up-and-coming single-seater drivers from around the world in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series, which starts at Ruapuna near Christchurch on January 14.
Ahmed is set to make his maiden appearance in the series – which is contested over five rounds across January and February – after missing out on last year’s championship due to not being the permitted minimum age limit.
Now 16, and as one of the youngest entrants, he will be aiming to put his skills to the test in the five rounds, 15 race series which finishes with the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild on February 12.
Ahmed eclipsed three-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton’s karting records by winning both Junior KF3 European and World Championships in the same year aged just 14. In what was a record-breaking 2014, Ahmed made history as he bagged a total of five karting titles.
The Londoner made his debut in car racing by competing in the 2015 British MSA Formula Championship, where he claimed Rookie of the Year honours. Ahmed also added further single-seater experience by rounding out the year in the Northern European-based SMP Formula 4 Series, taking five wins and a further two podium appearances.
Enaam graduated to the British Formula 3 Championship for 2016 as the youngest driver in the field. He impressed in his debut campaign and enjoyed two wins en route to finishing fifth overall in the standings. Driving in the British F3 Autumn Trophy, Ahmed then scored a further two wins to seal the championship and end 2016 in style.
In the Castrol Toyota Racing Series, Ahmed will join the already-announced Luis Leeds from Australia and Dutch youngster Richard Verschoor at the Giles Motorsport team. All drivers will use the same Tatuus single-seater, powered by a 1.8 litre Toyota engine which produces around 160 kWs running on an 85 percent ethanol bio-fuel
The cars will all be fitted with the same Michelin tyres, gearbox, suspension and brakes to provide healthy competition and ensure as much close racing as possible – allowing driver skill to prevail as the deciding factor.
A full field of 20 cars will line up for the Castrol Toyota Racing Series, which will follow a familiar weekend format consisting of free practice each Friday, qualifying and race one on Saturday and two races on Sunday at each event.
The full schedule is as follows:
January 14/15 Lady Wigram Trophy, Ruapuna Park, Christchurch
January 21/22 Spirit of a Nation Cup, Teretonga, Invercargill
January 28/29 New Zealand Motor Cup, Hampton Downs, North Waikato
February 4/5 Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy, Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo
February 11/12 New Zealand Grand Prix, Circuit Chris Amon, Manfeild