Brazilian ace Igor Fraga – fresh from a top three finish in the 2019 Formula Regional European Championship – will begin his 2020 racing season with a title challenge in New Zealand’s Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
Of Brazilian descent but born in Japan, Fraga is a successful and interesting addition to the 2020 field. Driving for M2 Competition, the successful circuit and e-sports racer will start as one of the favourites in the five round championship which climaxes with February’s New Zealand Grand Prix.
Fraga’s worldwide experience includes seven karting championships in Japan between 2004 and 2008 and the Asian karting championship title in 2008. He started circuit racing in Brazil in 2014, winning on debut at Interlagos and breaking the Formula 1600 lap record. He remained in Brazil for the domestic Formula 3 Championship in 2015, and won that title in 2017.
A move to the United States the following season saw him compete in the FIA NACAM Formula 4 Championship where he finished second. In 2018 he was fourth in his rookie season in the highly competitive USF2000 series and this year he took third overall in the F3 regional championship with four wins and 11 podium finishes.
He is also a successful e-sports racer and won the inaugural FIA Gran Turismo Nations Cup in 2018 and a few months later, also won the McLaren Shadow Project to become part of the team. In 2019, Igor won the FIA Gran Turismo Manufacturer Series representing Toyota, becoming the very first driver to obtain both titles (Nations Cup and Manufacturer Series).
“It will be my very first time to race in New Zealand and I’m very excited for all upcoming experiences. I will be enjoying each second, each lap there and pushing everything I can until the end. The goal of course is to win!”
The 2020 championship will begin at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell in New Zealand’s South Island over the weekend of January 17-19. It stays in the South Island for the second round a week later, moving to Teretonga Park near Invercargill for round two.
The series then heads to the North Island for the remaining three weekends of racing. That will include the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, the New Zealand Motor Cup at Pukekohe Park and the final round, the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting over the weekend of February 14-16 at Manfeild – Circuit Chris Amon in Feilding.