Home Formula RegionalFRegional Oceania FFord champion Josh Bethune steps up to Toyota Racing Series

FFord champion Josh Bethune steps up to Toyota Racing Series

by Ida Wood

Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing NZ

Josh Bethune, a star of New Zealand’s Formula Ford scene, will race in the Toyota Racing Series next year.

The 17-year-old started his car racing in 2017 in South Island FFord, a series he went on to win two years later. He then came second in NZ FFord for two seasons in a row, before moving to United States Formula 4.

That campaign in America proved tricky, and he returned home to make a winning cameo in South Island FFord again as well as begin testing in TRS’s previous generation Tatuus FT-50 car and its current Regional Formula 3-spec Tatuus FT-60.

“The jump to the FT-60 is significant but not as hard, for example, as it was to go from karting to a Formula Ford car,” said Bethune.

“The US Formula 4 is also a modern chassis and challenging to drive both technically and physically and the time I have in those cars is also going to be valuable in ensuring I have the speed I need in the TRS car.”

Bethune is the fourth rising talent to be revealed to be contesting the full season, with a further five drivers – all with established motorsport careers – signed up for the New Zealand Grand Prix-awarding opening round at Hampton Downs.

“Everyone on that grid is a competitor when the helmet goes on,” added Bethune.

“We’re all the same. It’s awesome to be out there with some of the big names but they are just competitors and other drivers I will try to beat. That’s the way they’ll see me too and I’m sure it’s going to be great racing.”