Cleary Ready To Step Up To NZ Formula Regional Campaign In 2024
Australian TransAm and Formula Ford driver Elliott Cleary is the first Australian confirmed for the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship.
Cleary was one of the stars of the TransAm round at Bathurst recently, finishing second and sixth after solid race performances in the two races that were part of the Bathurst 1000 weekend.
St Kilda teenager Elliott – 17 - has also raced in Formula Ford during 2023, taking a podium in the Racer Industries Formula Ford Challenge and racing in three rounds of the Australian Formula Ford Championship for Synergy Motorsport.
He was a late starter in karting in 2020 but impressed immediately with multiple podiums in both national and state level events and over two years competed in KA4 Junior through to KZ2. Stand out performances included eighth overall in the Australian Kat Championship in the KA2 class in 2021.
He was the winner of the Western Australian Formula Ford Series in 2022 and earlier this year won the Formula Ford support race at the Bathurst 12 Hour meeting. He became the youngest ever driver to be entered in the Australian Trans Am Championship this year too, and quickly established himself as a top ten front runner.
His campaign in the championship – which starts in January and concludes with the New Zealand Grand Prix after five back-to-back weekends – will be run by mtec Motorsport.
It’s a different direction for the youngster and a big step up from Formula Ford, but he is up for the challenge of a major international junior single seater championship.
“I’m really looking forward to this series,” he said. “Some incredible drivers have participated in this category in the past and it will definitely push me to grow as a driver.”
A full field of drivers is expected for what is the second season of the Castrol Toyota FR Oceania Championship.
The premier junior single seater championship in New Zealand and the Oceania region has a long history under its previous identity as the Castrol Toyota Racing Series and current graduates include F1 drivers Liam Lawson, Yuki Tsunoda, Lance Stroll, Guanyu Zhou and 2016 champion Lando Norris.
It's recognised as a competitive championship and mtec Motorsport boss Bruin Beasley reckons his young charge will go well.
“It's really exciting to have a young driver of Elliott's calibre in the team, he's extremely driven and talented. Not only is he fast but a fantastic kid with a big future. We will be pushing as hard as we can to get him on podium”.
2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship certified by FIA - Events
19-21 January 2024 - Taupo International Motorsport Park – Historic GP event
26-28 January 2024 - Manfeild - Circuit Chris Amon
2-4 February 2024 - Hampton Downs Motorsport Park
9-11 February 2024 – Euromarque Motorsport Park
16-18 February 2024 - Highlands Motorsport Park – 68th New Zealand Grand Prix