South Korean Michael Shin is the latest international to confirm a season in New Zealand’s 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship.
Nineteen-year-old Shin will join M2 Competition for the season down under, which begins in January and culminates in the 68th New Zealand Grand Prix being held at the Highlands Motorsport Park in NZ’s South Island for the first time.
Shin has a wealth of junior formula experience to bring to his challenge despite having only been competing in single-seaters since the beginning of 2022.
A year of karting in his native South Korea was followed by a step up to the 2022 Formula 4 UAE Championship and then the 2022 F4 British Championship, where he achieved his first win at Brands Hatch. He also represented South Korea in the 2022 FIA World Motorsport Games in the Formula 4 Cup, finishing in the top six in the semi-final race.
In 2023 he stepped up to Formula Regional competition, racing in the FR Middle East Championship with Prema and taking a second-place finish in the penultimate race at Abu Dhabi.
His racing programme in the UK also continued during 2023 with a campaign in the GB3 Championship with Hitech Racing. In addition to that, he also completed three rounds of FIA F3 with PHM Racing by Charouz, further broadening his experience in junior formulae.
The New Zealand championship will see all drivers competing in Tatuus-based Toyota FT60 cars at five very different circuits in New Zealand’s north and South Islands over five consecutive weekends. There’s plenty of testing mileage as well as practice, qualifying and racing, and Shin is excited to be part of the next series.
“I’m really looking forward to racing in the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship this winter,” he said.
“It will be a great opportunity for me to develop as a driver and will help prepare me for my main campaign. It will be interesting to learn a new track every weekend, all of which are going to be pretty unforgiving.
“I am especially looking forward to the New Zealand Grand Prix, having heard so many positive things about it. It will also be my first time visiting New Zealand, so there will be many things to take in.”
M2 Competition boss Mark Pilcher says the New Zealand championship will be a great learning process for his young driver, commenting: “We are delighted to welcome Michel on board at m2 Competition.
“The 2024 season in New Zealand will accelerate his learning and experience, working with great teammates, and hopefully, he can deliver some great results along the way.”
2024 Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship calendar
|19-21 January||Taupo International Motorsport Park (Historic Grand Prix event)|
|26-28 January||Manfeild – Circuit Chris Amon|
|2-4 February||Hampton Downs Motorsport Park|
|9-11 February||Euromarque Motorsport Park (Ruapuna)|
|16-18 February||Highlands Motorsport Park – 68th New Zealand Grand Prix|
Words & Images: Supplied