Multiple Formula Regional Championship winning team M2 Competition is eyeing the newly launched Australia F4 Championship as another pathway to develop up-and-coming driver talent when the series gets underway at The Bend Motorsport Park in May.
Dubbed an “F1 talent factory”, M2 Competition has seen a number of its alumni graduate into Formula One. Lance Stroll, Lando Norris, Zhou Guanyu, Yuki Tsunoda, and Liam Lawson all drove for the team during the New Zealand Toyota Racing Series in the past decade.
Add to that the likes of Nick Cassidy, Earl Bamber, Marcus Armstrong, Robert Shwartzman, and Richard Verschoor, who have all competed for the team.
More recently, M2 led the campaign that saw Matthew Payne win the TRS Championship in 2021 and Shane van Gisbergen win the New Zealand Grand Prix in the same year.
“We’ve been fortunate to have some very good drivers compete with us over the years, and it’s always satisfying to see them do well and to progress their careers to the pinnacle of the sport,” says M2 Competition Team Principal Mark Pilcher.
“Bringing young drivers up the ladder is our specialty, and it’s been great to work with some incredible young talent over the years.”
Looking ahead to the Australia F4 Championship, Pilcher says it’s a natural opportunity for the team.
“F4 has proved around the world to be a great pathway category for young drivers wanting to get valuable wings and slicks experience, particularly for those coming straight out of Karting or Formula Ford,” says Pilcher.
“The Australian F4 calendar fits well between our New Zealand and Japanese programs, and there are a couple of Australasian drivers already on our radar to compete.”
“We have extensive experience with the Tatuus chassis products and a fairly respectable results resume over the last decade or so.”
M2 Competition will field five international drivers in the upcoming Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship (CTFROC), which gets underway at Taupo International Motorsport Park in January.
The team also has an involvement in the Japanese Formula Regional Championship for 2024, overseeing a young Kiwi driver.
Pilcher was also instrumental in guiding Callum Hedge to his 2023 FR America’s Championship win this year, while the young Kiwi also collected the Porsche Carrera Championship title this year.
“Callum is an exceptional talent; to watch him switch between GT and single-seater machinery week in, week out was remarkable.”
Hedge is under the management and guidance of Pilcher, and former Indy Car team owner Steve Horne, with their company M2 Competition Management.
Header image: Callum Hedge (#17) finished second in the 2023 CTFROC with M2 before going on to win the FR America’s Championship. Photo: Bruce Jenkins.