Motorsport: Aspiring Formula One stars chase dream in Toyota Racing Series at Cromwell

For the first time since the COVID pandemic hit, the world's brightest young drivers have ventured to New Zealand to chase their Formula One dream, via the Toyota Racing Series.

Since it's inception, the TRS has produced several F1 stars and the son of former driver Alexander Wurz is among those hoping to use the series as a stepping stone this year.

Some of the globe's best young drivers have taken to the grid at picturesque Cromwell. 

The Toyota Racing Series in little old New Zealand has quite the reputation overseas.

"Especially with the names that have gone through here at their junior level," said Brit Josh Mason. "This series does make world champions."

The most recent names include include current F1 drivers Lance Stroll and Lando Norris. More than 20 drivers have come through TRS that have gone onto Formula One, either as a driver or test driver.

Drivers from the UK, South America, USA, Europe and Australia all make the trip downunder this year. 

"It was the best place I could come for my development," said American Chloe Chambers.

"It's really the closest competition with Europe, not too far out from Australia," said Aussie Ryder Quinn.

One driver who's ventured from Europe is Austrian Charlie Wurtz. 

Ryder Quinn contests the Toyota Racing Series
Ryder Quinn contests the Toyota Racing Series. Photo credit: Photosport

"I'm definitely here to win, that's no secret," he told Newshub.

Wurtz wouldn't be the first in the family - dad Alexander Wurtz competed in the New Zealand Formula Ford championship in 1992, before taking on the very best in Formula One. 

"He really loved it so much," said Charlie Wurtz. "All the time, every dinner, he's talking about it basically, so that's why he wanted me to come here to experience it as well."

If it can help him make it to F1, the trip will be a worthwhile.