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Norris decides against defending TRS crown

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Norris decides against defending TRS crown
By:
Dec 21, 2016, 10:42 AM

Reigning Toyota Racing Series champion Lando Norris will not return to defend his title in 2017, citing other commitments and needing more time to prepare for European Formula 3 championship.

Lando Norris is presented with the British Club Driver of the Year trophy by Vijay Mallya
Lando Norris
Lando Norris
Podium: Richard Verschoor, MP Motorsport
Jehan Daruvala
Pedro Piquet
Jehan Daruvala
Jehan Daruvala
Ferdinand Habsburg
Winner Pedro Piquet with Nelson Piquet
Brendon Leitch
Pedro Piquet and Brendon Leitch

The 17-year-old had previously announced his return to the New Zealand-based series after winning the 2016 edition with the M2 Competition squad.

But since then, Norris has confirmed his F3 switch with Carlin and also won the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, which has increased his workload off-track in the build-up to the 2017 season.

“I'm massively disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to defend my Toyota Racing Series title but I believe I’ve taken the right decision although it was a very hard one to reach," said Norris.

"2016 has been a very busy year of racing that started in January and finished in November.

"I need to be in the best possible shape, mentally and physically, from the start of the Euro F3 season in April – being successful in F3 is my number one priority in 2017 so unfortunately it’s a case of sacrificing the TRS opportunity.

"Additionally, having recently won the McLaren Autosport Award, I really want to spend time at the Autosport International Show in January where I’ll also now have important commitments for the BRDC."

Red Bull juniors head entry list

Following Norris' decision to pull out, 19 drivers have been confirmed to contest the 2017 season, with Red Bull juniors Richard Verschoor and Luis Leeds heading up the entry list.

Drivers returning for a second season include Force India protege Jehan Daruvala, F3 regular Pedro Piquet, Ferdinand Habsburg, Brendon Leitch, Taylor Cockerton and Thomas Randle - the latter racing for full season after contesing just the one round in 2016.

2017 TRS entry list:

Drivers:
 Jehan Daruvala
 Ferdinand Habsburg
 Pedro Piquet
 Richard Verschoor
 Luis Leeds
 Brendon Leitch
 Marcus Armstrong
 Taylor Cockerton

 Thomas Randle

 Enaam Ahmed

 Keyvan Andres Soori

 Ameya Vaidyanathan

 Nikita Lastochkin

 Shelby Blackstock

 Kami Laliberte

 Kory Enders

 Christian Hahn

 Harry Hayek

 Thomas Neubauer

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