Young Kiwi, 13 year old TKR Development Academy driver Thomas Boniface, was recently provided the opportunity to do a high performance driver training program in the US under the guidance of Ex F1 driver Allen Berg, at the world famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Northern California.
The key objective behind Team Kiwi Racing providing Thomas the opportunity to do a high performance driver training program in the US was to receive independent feedback from a top level professional race car driver who has competed at the top level of motorsport himself, along with input from his five professional driving instructors.
Secondly, it was to see if a totally independent race organisation saw the same potential in Thomas, as a very talented driver with an exciting motorsport future ahead of him, as TKR does.
Not only did Thomas impress the five professional driver instructors at the Allen Berg high performance driver training program but he also impressed ex F1 driver Allen Berg himself. In fact he impressed throughout the course so much that Allen Berg made time to specifically come over and reinforce how impressed he was with the young Kiwi.
Berg stated he had not seen a kid with that much natural car speed and car control as Thomas showed on their first time in an unknown race car.
And it did not finish there.
Allen’s comments were further backed up when the driving instructors secretly installed a data logger and GoPro camera on Thomas’s car without his knowledge during the last run of the day. They did this so they could see first-hand how the young Kiwi was achieving the lap times he was, as Thomas was 1 second per lap faster than the lead driving instructor at the end of the full speed Hot Laps session of the program.
“Thomas Boniface is the real deal and he has a very exciting future ahead of him should we be able to keep finding the funding to nurture this talent to a point where his natural ability will shine through and teams will be wanting to secure and pay for his services in the future”. said Team Owner David John.
TKR have been supporting the talented young Kiwi with his development both on and of the race track since Thomas was selected as a TKR Development Academy Driver 18 months ago when he was still racing karts as a national champion and multiple national karting title holder.
Thomas has since completed a full season in the BMW Drivers Championship with TKR in one of the teams Championship winning TKR BMW Minis.
“I always keep an eye on drivers coming through the grass roots level of motorsport, as TKR has for the last 18 years. I had seen the name Thomas Boniface along with other young Kiwi KartSport drivers names pop up frequently and I have always said a young driver needs to make the initiative to introduce him or herself to a Team Owner to show they have the initiative and drive to succeed in this sport, which is exactly what Thomas did”. said David John
Thomas made the effort and early one morning before school went to an open day TKR was holding in New Plymouth as part of a nationwide tour TKR had implemented to evaluate potential new TKR Development Academy driver for the coming season. At the completion of the national tour TKR short-listed the potential drivers they believed were the best fit for the TKR Development Academy and the opportunity it provides talented young Kiwi drivers, finally selecting Thomas Boniface.
18 months on Thomas has made significant head way that has seen the young Kiwi complete his first full season in the BMW Drivers Championship driving one of the TKR BMW Mini Championship winning cars.
With a number of local test days in New Zealand and input from Kiwi motorsport legend Craig Baird, the test day in the US recently, another test day in the US scheduled for later in the year, with the second season in the BMW Drivers Championship about to commence and confirmation TKR could be lining up on the grid in Australia in 2018, Thomas Boniface is a name to remember for the future.
TKR are looking to run a second TKR BMW Mini in this year’s BMW Drivers Championship as an extension to the TKR Development Academy. Interested parties should contact David John on 021 636877 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register their interest.
A further announcement on the Team Kiwi Racing, 2018 Australian campaign, will be made in the near future.
For further information contact:
International dial – 0011 64 21 636877
Local New Zealand dial – 021 636877