FIA Formula 3 podium winner Christian Mansell will race the opening two rounds of New Zealand’s prestigious Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship.
Mansell (18) will join for at least the first two rounds of the championship, which will include the opener at Taupo International Motorsport Park and the second of three North Island events at Manfeild – Circuit Chris Amon a week later.
Mansell will join Giles Motorsport for his two rounds with Castrol backing on his Toyota FT60. The Giles team is run by former McLaren F1 engineer Stephen Giles. Last season, Giles engineered Brit Louis Foster to race victories in his three-round campaign, including a debut win at his first weekend.
Christian has considerable junior formula expertise to bring to his brief New Zealand campaign, including several seasons in karting, experience in Formula 4, Euroformula Open, the GB3 Championship and in 2023 FIA Formula 3, where he became a regular points scorer and took a maiden podium finish at the Silverstone round.
He also competed at this year’s Macau Grand Prix, finishing 16th in the main event. His broad range of experience should make him well-suited to the Castrol Toyota FR Oceania cars and he hopes it will help him settle quickly into a race-winning pace.
“I’m super excited to be competing in the Castrol Toyota Formula Oceania Regional Championship next year, and it’s great to partner up with Castrol,” said Mansell.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to race in this highly competitive series and I’m eager to take some trophies back with me. Let’s hit the track!”
His team is looking forward to his participation too. “All of the team at Giles Motorsport welcomes Christian and we’re looking forward to working with him when the championship kicks off,” said Stephen Giles.
“Although Christian only has a limited program and may not be competing for the overall title, we’ll be working hard to help him secure the best results possible in preparation for his 2024 European season and we’re sure that he’ll be one to watch when we get underway at Taupo.”
Castrol has supported New Zealand’s leading open-wheel formula since 2017 as a naming rights partner, which continues to this day. This was the same year current Castrol-supported Supercars driver Thomas Randle won the series from such illustrious drivers including Marcus Armstrong, Jehan Daruvala, Richard Verschoor and Pedro Piquet.
Castrol expanded its support last season to sponsor James Penrose, and he took victory at Manfeild driving for Kiwi Motorsport.
Jan Willink, Brand & Product Manager for Castrol Australia & New Zealand says the young ace is likely to impress, adding: “Christian is one of our brightest young motorsport talents and Castrol couldn’t be more excited to see him competing in the opening rounds of the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship,” said Willink.
“Castrol is proud to be able to support young drivers as they seek to unlock the very edge of performance and we’re confident that Christian involvement in the Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship will be an invaluable stepping stone in his motorsport career.”