Brazilian ace Igor Fraga – fresh from a top-three finish in the 2019 Formula Regional European Championship – will begin his 2020 racing season with M2 Competition in New Zealand’s Toyota Racing Series.
Of Brazilian descent, but born in Japan, Fraga is a successful and interesting addition to the 2020 field. Driving for M2, the circuit and e-sports racer will start as one of the favourites in the five-round series that climaxes with February’s New Zealand Grand Prix.
Fraga’s worldwide experience includes seven karting titles in Japan from 2004-08 and the Asian karting championship in 2008.
He began 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 F3 Championship and won that in ‘17.
A move to the USA 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 in Europe with four wins and 11 podiums.
He is also a successful e-sports racer and won the inaugural FIA Gran Turismo Nations’ Cup in 2018 and a few months later, the McLaren Shadow Project, to become part of their 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).
He said: “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 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, the New Zealand Motor Cup at Pukekohe and the final round, the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting over the weekend of February 14-16 at Manfeild.