Teenager joins racers from New Zealand and overseas as they battle for the inaugural Castrol Toyota Formula Regional title.

sceats relishing ‘dream opportunity’

Up-and-coming Kiwi star Liam Sceats is contesting the full five-round Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship with multiple title-winner M2 Competition.

Sceats has been one of the leading lights in Formula Ford racing in New Zealand over the past few seasons.

He was third overall in the 2022 FF1600 title race with four wins and five podiums, and came third in the North Island series with six wins and eight podiums.

The 17-year-old is facing off with old rivals in the first edition of the Castrol Toyota FR Oceania Championship.

The first 2023 New Zealand premier single-seater series since 2020 will produce a battle royal among the most successful drivers from the country’s recent Formula Ford championships.

Sceats, pictured, faces the likes of James Penrose, Breanna Morris and Callum Hedge, all of whom have titles to their name from recent seasons.

Add in racers from Europe, Australia and the US, and it’s super-competitive, but Sceats is relishing the prospect of racing at home on circuits he knows well.

He says: “I’m genuinely excited to be racing with M2 Competition in the highly competitive Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Championship for 2023 and cannot thank my supporters enough. They have helped make this dream opportunity into a reality.”

A professional approach to pre-season preparation should stand Sceats in good stead according to M2 Competition boss Mark Pilcher.

“It’s great to see the next wave of young Kiwis progressing to Formula Regional Oceania,” he says.

“Liam has put in a lot of effort into his pre and it will be interesting to see how he goes. This championship has been the launch pad for countless young drivers. He 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 by becoming the Oceania edition of its global Formula Regional programme. It offers 18 Super Licence points for a win and points down to ninth place overall.

It has proved popular for junior formulae drivers over the years because of its unique timing – in the middle of the New Zealand summer and the northern hemisphere winter.

It races at tracks in the South Island and the North Island, and this season includes the most southerly track of them all – Teretonga, as well as Manfeild, Hampton Downs, Taupo and Highlands where it all kicks off from January 13-15.

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