Reigning Formula Open (FONZ) champion Josh Donohue targets a successful title defence and a shot at next year’s New Zealand Grand Prix.
The 19-year-old won last season’s FONZ series in an older-generation FT40 Toyota Racing Series car.
He graduates to an FT50 chassis for the coming summer and intends to slide into the current-spec FT60 for next year’s 67th Grand Prix.
“I’m excited for the season ahead,” Donohue said.
“While the full TRS series would’ve been great, the fact that we can still, hopefully, do a one-off round is still extremely exciting. And I’ve got the FONZ title to defend.”
Should Donohue make it onto the Grand Prix grid in February, he would have done so through an uncharacteristic route.
“I didn’t do Formula Vee or Formula Ford along the way,” he said.
“Not that I didn’t want to, it’s just not the way some of the opportunities I’ve had fell into place.”
Instead, Donohue moved from karting to local Hillclimb events, then to the BMW Race Driver Series.
His latest gig in FONZ suggests the wings-and-slicks class is another alternative to the traditional Formula Ford to TRS pathway.
“It hasn’t been the typical route.”
FONZ are expecting the 2021/22 series to be its biggest season to date.
Driver numbers are predicted to be around 15 at most rounds.
Tom Alexander and Jacob Douglas are set to join Donohue in FT50s next season.
Douglas only recently returned from racing Formula 4 cars in the United States. He is also aiming to use FONZ as preparation for the Grand Prix.
Four FT40s, two Formula Renaults and four Formula Atlantics have also been confirmed for the six-round 2021/22 series.
“The grid is looking a lot tougher this time round,” Donohue said.
FONZ will have two South Island rounds next season. One at the Skope Classic at Ruapuna and another as part of the Mobil 1 Festival at Teretonga.
The MG Classic at Manfeild opens the season on November 12-14.