TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand has welcomed yesterday’s news that its 2021 Castrol Toyota Racing Series will be streamed live and on-demand on Spark Sport’s growing broadcast platform.
The series has always enjoyed TV coverage but the move to a fully online product will make it accessible to many more domestic fans and potentially a much wider international audience.
The new broadcasting deal encompasses live coverage of the forthcoming New Zealand Grand Prix meeting at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park on January 22-24 and the Castrol Toyota Racing Series meeting at Manfeild over the February 12-14 weekend.
The forthcoming Grand Prix meeting will be the largest and highest profile motorsport event in well over a year and will feature some huge names in Shane van Gisbergen, Greg Murphy, Daniel Gaunt, Chris van der Drift and André Heimgartner, as well as up and coming young Kiwi racers Matthew Payne, Billy Frazer, Josh Bethune and Kaleb Ngatoa in a field of 16 competitors.
“Although it’s a very different looking series this year, the forthcoming Grand Prix is a great way to start,” explained General Manager of Motorsport, Andrew Davis. “With Spark Sport already broadcasting F1, F2 and F3 live and on-demand it is a natural fit to add a top level domestic championship like the Castrol Toyota Racing Series to the portfolio.
“We’ve obviously seen eighteen of our drivers graduate to F1 in racing or testing roles and on the 2021 F1 grid we will see five of them, Lando Norris, Lance Stroll, Nicolas Latifi and the latest additions Nikita Mazepin and Yuki Tsunoda, who raced as recently as 2020 in New Zealand. That means 25% of the field are TRS graduates.
“We also have Liam Lawson and Marcus Armstrong in F2 and other drivers rising through the ranks, that’s a trend that will continue and one which the motorsport world is well aware of. TRS is an important series and although it is different this year with the COVID-19 factor, it is and will remain a perfect fit as motorsport broadcasting continues to evolve with new broadcasting and viewing technologies.”
With the TRS series going online, it represents an interesting new part of a relationship between Toyota New Zealand and Spark. The pair have formed a strong partnership around innovation trialling world leading 5G and IoT (Internet of Things) solutions to enhance the customer experience.
“We are excited to extend this relationship even further and can’t wait to start showing these innovations off to our customers as we bring mobility for all,” added Davis.
“We will be offering a sneak peak at the Toyota Festival on the 30th of January at Hampton Downs.”
Viewers preferring the traditional free to air model to watch the Grand Prix will also be able to enjoy a highlights package on TV3’s Sunday CRC Motorsport show.