Neil Alberico will be traveling to New Zealand this weekend to contest the Toyota Racing Series, which begins next week (January 9-12) at the world's most southerly trace track, Teretonga, near Invercargill. He will be driving a patriotically liveried Team USA Scholarship car for Victory Motor Racing.
The series will continue with events on consecutive weekends at Timaru (January 16-19), Highlands Motorsport Park (January 23-26), Hampton Downs (January 30-February 2) and Manfeild (February 6-9).
Full updates, including live timing and scoring will be available via http://www.toyotaracing.co.nz/
Neil will be providing regular updates on his progress on Facebook, Twitter and on the Team USA Scholarship website, commencing immediately with this blog:
The Great Adventure
Los Gatos, Calif. – It’s official; I am a year older and a year wiser. Time goes by so fast these days, I swear… Then again, I’ve been saying that ever since I graduated high school.
Around this time last year I was in Australia with Matt Brabham enjoying some time away from the racing scene. Now, a year later, the 2013 season is in the books and I find myself in the comfort of my own home for the holidays. This is the one time a year I get to spend quality time with my family, and my plan is to enjoy every minute of it as I will be leaving for New Zealand this week. Yup! That’s right, I’m going back down under to fly the flag for the Team USA Scholarship in the 2014 Toyota Racing Series. It’s truly an honor to be representing the program again and I’m super-excited about visiting New Zealand!
Let’s start by capping off 2013 as the New Year is finally here. Well, this past season was one of the best years of my racing career. Not just for wins, but I’ve also found my best friends through Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing. Since signing with the Cape brothers over a year ago, time at the racetrack is simply more fun. Sure, we had our bad weekends just like anybody else. But that’s not what life is really about, is it? Winning countless championships all means nothing if you don’t get to share and enjoy those moments with true friends. Racing is simply a hectic sport and if you can find a second to laugh, go for it! The Capes understand that too, and I think that’s why we get along so well. That, and we all share the same passion for classic cars and hot rods….
Don’t get me wrong; we compete to win every weekend, every race and every session. Our whole team pushes each other to perfection on a daily basis. We just know how to have a little fun at the same time. If I could go all the way to IndyCar with the Capes, I would. At the end of the day racing is my life, and life is meant to be fun.
This coming season is a crucial year for me as far as my career goes. Racing is not exactly the most affordable sport in the world, however I feel super blessed to have opportunities like this one that keep my career going.
The Capes decided to build a new Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires team, and I’m excited to be a part if it. We’ve already done a couple of tests. The car has about a hundred more horsepower and a little more downforce, and is a lot of fun to drive. It’s going to be hard work developing and learning how to drive a new car, but at least I know I’m working with the best guys out there. All that is a little down the road anyway. For the minute my main focus is on performing this month in New Zealand.
TRS is going to be five straight weeks of seat time. Competing in 15 races in just over a month is going to be a blast! I can’t wait. Apparently there is a social media competition put on by the series called the “Great TRS Adventure" where they encourage us drivers to share our experience in New Zealand. Basically, all that means is I have to step up my Instagram efforts and come up with a creative way to share my voyage with everyone. Yes, I said voyage. Sounds cool. It makes it sounds like I’m sailing to New Zealand or something. Which I’m not, but maybe one day though? Time to fire up the GoPro! If you have any ideas, please do tell. Hopefully I can find some time to maybe surf or skydive or something like that. At least try to enjoy some of the beautiful countryside while I’m there.
Anyway, I just recently spent some quality time with our good friends at CXC Simulations clocking in some seat time before I head to New Zealand. I spent hours at their location in Los Angeles driving on almost every track on the TRS schedule. I’m just about as well prepared as I could be. Not to mention getting some advice from Kiwi, Matt Halliday. It’s always nice meeting another driver living in California. Reminds me I’m not the only one over here on the West Coast!
Look forward to some more fun updates from New Zealand!
In the meantime… Happy Festivus for the rest of us!