Graduates shine in St Petersburg

Jacob Abel St Petersburg

Another solid weekend for Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania graduates gave much to cheer about at St Petersburg.

There was plenty of attention on the opening round of the IndyCar Championship and Marcus Armstrong impressed as top Chip Ganassi qualifier.

In IndyNXT there were no fewer than six graduates from the championship competing. Best of the bunch was Jacob Abel who was competitive all weekend and eventually came home second in the 45-lap race behind winner Nolan Siegel in his family-run Abel Motorsports car.

Right on his tail and in third place was Louie Foster for Andretti Global while 2020 NZ graduate Caio Collet was a solid seventh.

Next up in 11th was Callum Hedge, debuting in the category and recovering well after a challenging practice which saw him start from 18th on the grid. Bryce Aron, who completed a part-season in 2024 with a race win in New Zealand, was near the front of the pack for Andretti Global, unfortunately crashing out on the difficult circuit while holding sixth.

Further back, Josh Mason brought his Abel Motorsport car home in 17th.

Liam Sceats – NZ Grand Prix winner this year and runner up to Roman Bilinski in the overall championship, excelled on debut in the USFPro2000 Championship, scoring a podium on debut and a sixth place in the second place to put him fourth in the championship standings of 22 drivers.

Lucas Fecury was in action at St Petersburg too, bagging a couple of top twenty results in the USF2000 Championship opener.

Around eleven and half thousand kilometers away, in Japan, Sebastian Manson put experience in his 2024 CTFROC campaign to good use securing a starting spot of third in a spectacular opening round of the 2024 Formula Regional Japan Championship at Suzuka.

He backed that up with a third and fifth place result from the weekend’s three races to sit sixth in the points table.