In his first time home in New Zealand for over two years, FIA Formula 2 driver Marcus Armstrong is venturing back to his roots of karting before heading back to Europe.
The 21-year-old Armstrong will compete in the City of Sails Auckland meet over Auckland Anniversary Weekend and the CIK Trophy of New Zealand meet in Hamilton the following weekend.
His appearances will add considerable gloss to KartSport New Zealand’s opening two rounds of the new KartStars Series.
Armstrong will get in some race practice before heading to Britain to join his new British Hitech Grand Prix team for his FIA F2 campaign. It links him back with team principal Oliver Oakes, who recruited the young kiwi driver to compete in the European Karting Championship when he was 14 years old.
He is excited to be back in the KZ kart, having won multi national and schools titles and also raced with success in USA and Europe.
Armstrong is adamant that karting has been a key part of his development in motorsport.
“It’s played the biggest role in my development. The biggest learning curve and the most valuable lessons have come from karting. There’s no question about that,” said Armstrong.
Much of that came with invaluable advice as a teammate with multi-world champion, Italian legend Marco Ardigo.
“I love karting. It’s super fun, super physical and it’s good training. We do not get much track time overseas, so I do as much karting as possible. And a lot of the guys I race against in GP2 have come out of karting.”
Armstrong says few people understand the importance of karting as a first career step for young race drivers.
“It’s often overlooked. Not many people realise how great it is. Kids rush into the likes of Formula Ford and the likes but in my opinion, karting offers more benefits.”
Armstrong said he will enjoy being back in karting over the two weekends, his first time he has been able to get back home with the covid regulations in two years.
“It is about enjoying being back home, enjoying racing and giving something back. In saying that, I know everyone will be trying to beat me, but I wouldn’t expect anything else.”
The City of Sails Auckland meet is on 29 and 30 January at Giltrap Group Raceway in Rosebank Domain from approximately 10am to 5pm.