by Alarn Young on February 09, 2024

The first round of the Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship commenced in Taupo, New Zealand on 20-21, January with positive results for the M2 Competition team.

While the team struggled to top charts during the 2 qualifying sessions, they arose to the occasion when it counts. In the races.

Polish driver Roman Bilinski proved to be unstoppable at the hard-on-tyres Taupo circuit going 1-2-1 to dominate the round. Bilinski’s experience proved too much for the competition highlighted by an impressive drive from 8th through to 2nd in the reverse grid race 2. The 23-lap feature race 3 was similarly impressive, advancing from 4th to pick off both team mate Liam Sceats and top qualifier Christian Mansell in the same section of the track to send a warning to his championship competitors.

Leaving the round in P2, local driver Liam Sceats logged consistent results across all 3 races planting himself as one of the favourites in the championship race. Sceats used the weekend to come to terms to the new-to-him Pirelli tyres now standard for the ’24 season.

Michael Shin enters round 2, 4th in points after a podium finish in race 1 and consistent performances across the weekend.

Gerrard Xie impressed in race 2 being the only driver to beat an on-form Bilinski. Despite the reverse grid start in race 2, Xie, with Bilinski in chase, formed a freight train that moved to the front of the pack to finish 1-2.

Nico Lacorte suffered from an incident in race 1, putting himself in a compromised position for the remainder of the weekend. Impressively, Lacorte charged from last to 6th in race 2 in a drive of redemption. He’d recover to finish 12th for the round, taking positive steps toward a better result at round 2.


Championship Standings

1st – Roman Bilinski – 88 Points

2nd – Liam Sceats – 68 Points

4th – Michael Shin – 58 Points

6th – Gerrard Xie – 50 Points

12th – Nico Lacorte – 25 Points

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