INDY NXT racer Jacob Abel is all prepared to make a return to New Zealand to compete in the final two rounds of the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship.
Abel competed in the championship last season and will be a welcome addition to the competitive field when he steps into the car run by MTEC Motorsport.
Abel, 22, is preparing for his third season in INDY NXT. He excelled in his second season, scoring three podiums and a pole position. He started his senior racing career at the age of 16 in the F4 United States Championship and has excelled in junior formulae ever since, building towards his goal of competing in Indycar and the Indy 500.
Abel believes the challenge of competing in the final two rounds of New Zealand’s premier single-seater category – which will include the New Zealand Grand Prix – will be a great way for him to prepare for his next US campaign.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back down to New Zealand for the last two rounds of the season,” he said.
“It’s going to be nice to come in late in the championship and be fully focused on winning races. The New Zealand Grand Prix is a spectacle, and competing at the front of it would be a dream.
“With that being said, I’m not putting any pressure on myself and am really just looking forward to getting back on the grid before our season starts next month.”
In 2023 Abel made quite an impression in the New Zealand series, regularly making it into the top five, scoring podium results and being a constant factor just behind series protagonists Charlie Wurz and Callum Hedge.
He finished a solid third overall in the hotly contested 2023 championship, behind series winner Wurz and runner-up Hedge.
Team boss Bruin Beasley believes Abel will go well in his two-round campaign, adding: “Jacob was impressive last season and is a driver with a big future in the States.
“We know him well, and he’ll be a great addition to the team for the final races of the championship, and he’ll be a dark horse for the Grand Prix.”