M2 Competition are delighted to announce that Reece Ushijima as the first confirmed driver for their 2020 Formula Renault Eurocup programme.
The California-born 16-year-old is preparing for his first season of car racing after graduating from karting, and impressed the Brussels-based team at the Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya during a test last December.
Reece, who grew up in Japan and the USA, had his first experience of motorsport at the A-One Circuit in Fukuoka, Japan, aged 13, and has since contested national and international competition in Asia, North America and Europe.
His car-racing debut came at Anglesey last November in a Formula Ford 1600 event at which the now-UK-based racer impressively achieved pole position, two podium finishes and a fastest lap.
A pair of fastest laps at the Dubai Autodrome followed shortly afterwards at his debut event in the Asian-based MRF Challenge.
M2 Competition are the most successful team in the history of New Zealand’s Toyota Racing Series, smashing the championship’s all-time wins record in 2019 as they claimed their 10th title.
Last year marked their debut in the Formula Renault Eurocup, which is Europe’s most prestigious single-seater series below the FIA Formula 3 Championship and a proven training ground for future world champions.
Ending the season as the highest-placed rookie outfit in the Teams’ Championship, with two rookie victories and an overall podium finish at Monza, 2020 provides an ideal platform to take the next step forwards.
Star drivers to have graduated from M2 include Formula 1 racers Lando Norris and Lance Stroll, Super Formula and Super GT champion Nick Cassidy, sportscar aces Raffaele Marciello and Alex Lynn and new FIA F3 champion Robert Shwartzman.
The Formula Renault Eurocup kicks off at Monza, Italy, on April 18-19 and comprises 10 events, including the annual highlight – a double-header in support of the F1 Monaco Grand Prix – before concluding at Yas Marina, UAE, on November 13-14.
Reece Ushijima said: “I’m very excited with this announcement and beyond grateful to be in this position and to have such a big opportunity. I’d like to thank every single person that has helped me get to this point and that will continue to support me in my first season in car racing. It will definitely be a big challenge, but I’m beyond excited to start the season in April at Monza.
”Elise Moury, Team Principal, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Reece to the team. Although we only had a short test with him in Spain, he adapted to an unfamiliar car extremely quickly. The transition from karting to cars is difficult, but in tricky conditions, Reece was on-target with the objectives we’d set by the end of that first day. He clearly has a huge amount of potential. Our team’s extensive experience of working with drivers who are graduating from karting into single-seater racing will be a significant help to him as we all aim to be up to speed in time for the start of the campaign in April.”