Home Featured Nael, de Palo and Peugeot form Sainteloc’s all-rookie 2024 FREC line-up

Nael, de Palo and Peugeot form Sainteloc’s all-rookie 2024 FREC line-up

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Sainteloc Racing

Sainteloc Racing has completed its 2024 Formula Regional European Championship line-up with Spanish Formula 4 champion Theophile Nael joining fellow rookies Matteo de Palo and Enzo Peugeot.

After winning multiple national karting titles in France, Nael made the move up to F4 in Spain as soon as he turned 15, joining Sainteloc’s fledgling junior single-seater project from its creation and scoring 11 points in 12 races.

Staying within the Sainteloc fold this year, he came 11th in F4 United Arab Emirates then in a very competitive Spanish F4 field took the title with eight victories and five poles.

De Palo is a fellow graduate of Spanish F4, and came fifth in the 2023 standings for Campos Racing with one win as a rookie.

The Italian karting graduate had made his car racing debut with a race-winning cameo for Campos in the Formula Winter Series, and also impressed in a one-off Italian F4 appearance with R-ace GP and two British F4 rounds with Argenti Motorsport.

Sainteloc’s squad is completed by Peugeot, this year’s French F4 runner-up. The 17-year-old French-Japanese driver made his F4 debut in the final round of 2021 before finishing fifth in his first full season in 2022.

Returning to the championship this year, he took seven wins, including victory in the prestigious Pau Grand Prix, before ultimately losing out to Evan Giltaire by just four points in the title fight.

Peugeot started karting in 2016, taking the French junior title in 2020, before progressing to cars via the FEED Racing France shootout. All three drivers have recently been testing Sainteloc’s FRegional car at Imola, impressing the team in the process.

Sainteloc’s managing director Morgan Caron told Formula Scout: “We are very delighted to welcome Matteo, Theophile and Enzo into the team for the upcoming season in FREC.

“They are all very talented – showing significant results in F4 – and based on the very strong pace they have shown during the first winter tests, we have a strong line-up to fight for the title.”

Sainteloc struggled initially in 2023 with an all-rookie line-up in FREC before bringing Esteban Masson on board to help confirm that the team was going in the right direction. However, Caron says that the team is “not scared to have a full rookie line-up” in 2024.

“Next year it will be a year with a lot of rookies in FREC,” he said. “I’m convinced with a good winter preparation, [including] maybe some races during January and February [in FRegional Middle East] in UAE, the drivers can arrive and be straight in the game for victory from the first round.”