Finalists announced for Tony Quinn Foundation shoot-out with a $70,000 prize package towards CTFROC campaign

Three of New Zealand's most promising motorsport stars have been chosen for this year's Tony Quinn Foundation  CTFROC shoot-out at Hampton Downs next Wednesday.

The trio will race off for a $70,000 winner-takes-all prize, with the money going towards participation in the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship, New Zealand's premiere single-seater racing series that includes the NZ Grand Prix.

Two of the three finalists have been racing this year in single-seater categories in America and Japan while the third finalist is stepping up from success in the New Zealand Formula Ford championship.

Jacob Douglas, 18, made his single-seater debut three years ago in Formula Ford before he headed to the United States for two seasons in the USF2000 championship. Douglas took his first race wins at the end of the 2023 season and hopes to move up to USF Pro 2000 next year.

Fellow 18-year-old Liam Sceats is also targeting the USF Pro 2000 championship in America next year and is currently lying second in the Formula Regional series in Japan having already won three races.

The youngest finalist is current and double NZ Formula Ford champion Alex Crosbie, 16, from Invercargill.

All three finalists have graduated through the Hampton Downs NZ Racing Driver Academy, a prerequisite to selection, and on finals day will get three familiarisation runs before driving a qualifying simulation on new tyres and then a mock race run.

"They will be driving the same car and will get equal opportunity to put their best foot forward on the day," said Daniel Gaunt, HDNZRDA chief instructor. "They'll be judged on driving capabilities, their commercial understanding of the sport and technical feedback."

Last year's shoot-out winner Callum Hedge has shown just how valuable the TQF prize package is to kick-starting an international racing career.

"After winning last year's shootout the Tony Quinn Foundation helped me towards my successful 2023 CTFROC campaign. I feel extremely privileged to have TQF support which has continued beyond New Zealand into my Formula Regional USA season," said Hedge, who is currently leading the American-based series with one round remaining.

Hedge is having a busy season racing in two completely different race cars in two different countries. Apart from racing single-seaters in America, Hedge is also racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup in Australia after he qualified for the Porsche junior scholarship. The 19-year-old Aucklander is currently on target to win two championships across two continents.

Founding sponsor Tony Quinn will be on hand to see the finalists along with TQF trustees Greg Murphy, Steve Horne, John Gordon and Gaunt.

Callum Hedge racing in last year's CTFROC series with support from the Tony Quinn Foundation.