Seventeen-year-old driver Charlie Wurtz will tackle a new challenge for the 2023 season, stepping up to the Castrol Toyota FR Oceania Championship, with the Austrian travelling to New Zealand for the season opener.
Wurtz competed in four editions of Formula 4 in the 2022 season, claiming the title in Formula 4 UAE, finishing fourth in Italian Formula 4, competing in various rounds in ADAC German Formula 4 and finally, the Austrian dubbed in for a sick driver for Campos Racing in Spanish Formula 4.
This extremely hectic yet successful season caught the attention of M2 Competition, who have recruited Charlie for their 2023 Castrol Toyota FR Oceania Championship, where he will race alongside teammates Callum Hedge and Ryder Quinn.
Wurtz made it clear he is looking forward to competing in the series that has played host to many great drivers such as Lando Norris, Lance Stroll and Liam Lawson, “Ever since I can remember my dad [Alex Wurz] has recounted stories of his time racing New Zealand, how it was such an important step in his career and how much he loved it.
“I’m so excited to be able to start 2023 with this experience and a big thank you to TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and M2 for making this happen.”
Team principal Mark Pilcher also believes this series will be great for Wurz’ career, “It’s great Charlie can begin his next step in New Zealand and we welcome him aboard. Young drivers from F4 have made this step with success and we look forward to helping Charlie do the same.”
The Castrol Toyota FR Oceania Championship, known formerly as the Castrol Toyota Racing Series – has recently gained status with the FIA, becoming the Oceania edition of its global Formula Regional programme and offering 18 Super Licence points for a championship win and points down to ninth place overall.
It has proved popular for junior formulae drivers over the years because of its unique timing at the start of the year, which is in the middle of the New Zealand summer and the northern hemisphere winter. It races at tracks in both the South Island and the North Island and this season includes the most southerly track of them all, Teretonga, Manfeild, Hampton Downs and Taupo as well as Highlands on its schedule.
2023 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship Schedule – certified by FIA
13-15 January 2023 – Highlands Motorsport Park
20-22 January 2023 – Teretonga Park Raceway
27-29 January 2023 – Manfeild – Circuit Chris Amon
3-5 February 2023 – Hampton Downs International Motorsport Park
10-12 February 2023 – Taupo International Motorsport Park