Penrose wins funded New Zealand Grand Prix seat

James Penrose has won the funded drive on offer for the 2022 New Zealand Grand Prix.

Penrose wins funded New Zealand Grand Prix seat

The 25-year-old will race a Castrol-backed Toyota FT-60 in the 67th running of the prestigious NZGP.

He was selected from an initial 66 applicants for the Castrol drive, which was whittled down to seven finalists last month.

According to Castrol's brand and product manager Jan Willink, Penrose – the current NZ Formula Ford champion – excelled in all areas of the selection process.

“In the final review of some phenomenally talented young drivers, James was just what we were looking for,” said Willink.

“We were amazed with the overall quality calibre of applicants. Picking a single winner from such a deserving field was a greater challenge than anticipated, but James’ authenticity and genuine ambition to take his career to the next level convinced us that we want to be part of that journey with him too.

“We now move to the next stage with James. He’ll be testing again and working with us as we build towards a reveal of the car livery for the GP. We cannot wait to see James out on the grid as the latest in a long and successful line of New Zealand drivers to carry Castrol colours.”

Penrose has sampled Toyota Racing Series hardware before, having completed a successful test at Ruapuna earlier this year.

“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.”

Callum Crawley finished a narrow second in the selection process and has been handed $15,000 to put towards an NZGP seat.

The Grand Prix will take place at Hampton Downs on February 11-13.

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