Formula Ford star James Penrose has become the first driver to secure a slot on the 2022 New Zealand Grand Prix grid.
The 25-year-old will enter the Hampton Downs event, planned to take place on February 10-13, as the official grand prix ambassador and with his drive in the Formula Regional-spec Toyota Racing Series car paid for by oil supplier Castrol.
He went up against six other Kiwis, from a list of 66 applicants, to recieve the brand’s support. The seven finalists were assessed on and off-track last month and runner-up Callum Crawley also recieved NZ$15,000 to use towards a NZ GP drive.
“I knew – like all the drivers – that I had a shot at winning but it’s amazing to have actually been selected by Castrol to represent them in the grand prix,” said Penrose.
“They’ve gone the extra mile to make this happen and I am determined to deliver on the faith they have shown in me.
“When you see who was on the shortlist, let alone in the bigger 66 strong application list, I know that the opportunity could have easily gone to another driver such is the quality in that group. It’s very exciting for me to be the guy selected from that group to race in these iconic colours. I can’t wait.”
Penrose is the reigning NZ FFord champion and also the South Island FFord champion. He has competed in the wingless category for several years and before that was a national champion in lower level karting.
He will do several tests before the grand prix weekend in the Tatuus FT-60 car that he will be racing in.