Igor Fraga has described his Toyota Racing Series title success and New Zealand Grand Prix victory as an “unbelievable” achievement.
The 21-year-old led the season-ending race from start to finish, despite some heavy pressure from M2 Competition team-mate Liam Lawson, and became the first Brazilian winner of the grand prix since his mentor Roberto Moreno won in 1982.
It is also Fraga’s first outright title in single-seaters, having been a class champion in Brazilian Formula 3 in 2017.
He followed that success with a year in USF2000, during which he lived in Moreno’s house, and then a breakout season in Formula Regional European Championship with DR Formula by RP Motorsport where he won four races.
“I’m just speechless. After finishing the race I just could not believe it,” said Fraga.
“I would simply like to thank everyone that has been supporting me. Obviously my parents, they have been there with me since I was a little kid. It’s been a long way to here and I’ve found the support of many people [on the way] which has made me get to here and I’m just so thankful for all of them.”
Fraga’s parallel Esports career included victory in the FIA Gran Turismo Nations Cup and the McLaren Shadow competition, and Gran Tourismo has backed his on-track exploits since last year.
“All the Gran Tourismo family, they are now in Sydney all watching. They have been supporting me so much. They have been really crucial for my career.
“It’s still unbelievable. I’m very very happy. It’s something really special. Also thanks to all the M2 Competition guys. They have been working really, really hard to deliver a very competitive car.”
David de la Fuente Cainzos, Fraga’s engineer at M2 Competition, also had praise for the new champion.
“Igor did very good work out there,” he said. “It was a good fight with Liam. He did a very good job throughout all the season, and it was just [down to] the last race. Thanks for all the team, and thanks to Igor who did a very good job.”