Home Formula RegionalFRegional Oceania How W Series drivers found the TRS car they will race in Singapore

How W Series drivers found the TRS car they will race in Singapore

by Craig Woollard

Photo: W Series

W Series raced the Toyota Racing Series’ fleet of Tatuus FT-60 cars at Barcelona back in May, and will be utilising them once more in Singapore this weekend.

To ease logistical pressures following the Miami season opener and ahead of October’s round at Circuit of the Americas, W Series have borrowed the cars of another Formula Regional series, with TRS not racing until next January, so as not to fly the Tatuus T-318 chassis it normally uses across the world several times.

TRS’s cars have an identical monocoque and also use the lighter steering rack W Series opted for, but have a different chassis and engine combination as they contain a turbocharged 2.0-litre Toyota engine producing 285bhp rather than W Series’ usual 1.75L Alfa Romeo-badged units that push out 270bhp.

Speaking to Formula Scout in the Barcelona post-race press conference, the podium finishers explained how they found the TRS cars.

Race winner Jamie Chadwick, who struggled with the T-318’s standard steering rack when racing in FRegional European Championship, felt it was “same but different”.

“I don’t think that made [a larger engine] much of a difference. It was mainly the dampers, and the cylinders were slightly different, but you just adjust to what you have.”

“The start was a bit different, a lot of us bogged down but it’s the same for everyone. But from my side it was getting in and adapting to what I had.

“No two race cars are the same even though I raced in 2020 and used W Series cars but it was just trying to adapt as quickly as possible.”

Abbi Pulling finished second at Barcelona and got experience of the ‘standard’ T-318 with Renault power in a 2020 Formula Renault Eurocup cameo.

“It’s a very interesting car,” she said. “The starting procedure is a little bit different and because they are 15 kilograms heavier, and that’s all in the Toyota engine.

“It’s all to the rear and it’s made the balance of the car a bit more of a handful compared to the Alfa Romeo-engined cars that we more frequently use. I think it made it really interesting.

“It’s almost given the engineers a bit more of a challenge as well, so it’s definitely been fun in that aspect having more thought behind our set-ups than we normally kind of veer towards.

“We all go quite similarly so this weekend everyone was in lots of different places with their set-ups, so it was quite fun in that aspect. The turbo lag is a bit less as well. So, the turbo lag makes it quite enjoyable coming out of the corners. But I like either car, they both have their pros and cons.”

Third-placed Alice Powell added: “They’ve been a bit more of a handful for us, plus the higher temperatures as well and it’s a high deg track and we didn’t test these cars here when we had our test, so it’s been fairly difficult for all of us to adapt”.