Sceats joins race to inaugural Castrol Toyota Formula Regional title
Another piece of the inaugural Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship has fallen into place with news that another up and coming Kiwi star – Liam Sceats – will contest the full five round championship with multiple title winners M2 Competition.
Sceats has been one of the leading lights in Formula Ford racing in New Zealand over the past couple of seasons. He was third overall in the 2022 New Zealand FF1600 title race with four wins and five podium finishes and third in the earlier North Island championship with six wins and eight podium placings.
The 17 year old will face old rivals in the first edition of the Castrol Toyota FR Oceania Championship too.
The first 2023 New Zealand premier single seater championship since 2020 is set to produce a battle royal amongst the most successful drivers from the country’s recent Formula Ford championships. Sceats will face the likes of James Penrose, Breanna Morris and Callum Hedge, all of whom have titles to their name from recent seasons.
Add in international racers from Europe, Australia and the United States and it’s all set to be super competitive, but Sceats is relishing the prospect of racing at home on circuits he knows well, commenting: “I’m genuinely super excited to be racing with M2 Competition in the highly competitive Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Championship for 2023 and I cannot thank my supporters enough who have helped make this dream opportunity into a reality.”
A professional approach to pre-season preparation should stand Liam in good stead according to M2 Competition boss Mark Pilcher.
“It’s great to see the next wave of young kiwi drivers progressing to Formula Regional Oceania,” he said.
“Liam has put in a lot of effort into his prep which has gone very well and it will be interesting to see how he goes over the course of a race weekend. This championship has been the launch pad for countless young drivers and Liam now has his chance to gain experience and show what he can do.”
The five round series – known formerly as the Castrol Toyota Racing Series – has recently gained status with the FIA, becoming the Oceania edition of its global Formula Regional programme and offers 18 Super Licence points for a championship win and points down to ninth place overall.
It has proved popular for junior formulae drivers over the years because of its unique timing at the start of the year – which is in the middle of the New Zealand summer and the northern hemisphere winter. It races at tracks in both the South Island and the North Island and this season includes the most southerly track of them all, Teretonga. Manfeild, Hampton Downs and Taupo as well as Highlands all feature on its schedule.
The Castrol Toyota Racing Series had one of the best records in junior formulae for the proportion of its drivers over the years who have made it to Formula One or achieved other notable successes. Current F1 aces Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunoda, Nicolas Latifi, Lance Stroll and Guanyu Zhou all raced in TRS. Norris and Stroll were both champions.