Manuel Roza traveled to America to compete in the 2023 season of Formula Regional Americas Championship (FR Americas) after a successful run in the F4 NACAM Championship one season prior. Piloting the No. 12 Ligier JS F3 for Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport, Roza joined the series at NOLA Motorsports Park, Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but it was at Circuit of The Americas where he finally had a breakthrough performance, securing his first two podium finishes in the final two races of the season. Despite missing rounds at New Jersey Motorsports Park and VIRginia International Raceway, Roza earned the year-end Omologato Perfectly Timed Pass Award for having picked up the most positions between his starting and finishing position throughout the course of the season with 17 total positions gained.
Where are you from and what’s your favorite thing about your home town or home country?
Manuel Roza (MR): “I’m originally from Miami, FL. I moved to Mexico City when I was two years old, and have lived here ever since. Mexico has some amazing food. The weather is also very nice.”
When and how did you decide that you wanted to race, and then how did you get here?
MR: “I’ve had a passion for racing for as long as I can remember. Watching races as a kid, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I started karting when I was 11, and after several years doing that, I was able to make it to Formula 4. After Formula 4, I moved to FR Americas.”
Who is your racing idol and what made you look up to them?
MR: “I look up to a lot of drivers, but Ayrton Senna is one, in particular, that I always like to mention when I think of drivers that inspire me. I obviously didn't ever get to watch him race live on television, but he had a way of driving cars that no one else has been able to replicate. His videos are legendary to watch. He was just an amazing driver.”
If you could only drive one racetrack for the rest of your life, which track would you want it to be and why?
MR: “It would have to be the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It’s extremely challenging, extremely long, and extremely fun to drive—at least on the simulator.”
Alternatively, what’s the one racetrack you dream of racing on, and why?
MR: “Either Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps or Japan's Suzuka Circuit. Both are some of my absolute favorites; not only are they amazing tracks, but they also have a lot of racing history and legacy.”
Tell me about the one race from your career that really sticks out in your memory—maybe it was your best race, or it’s just your favorite.
MR: “The last race of the 2022 season of Formula 4 NACAM Series—it was a support event for the Mexico Grand Prix. Not only was it one of my very best wins, but because we were there as a support series for the Formula 1 weekend, the crowd was massive and the atmosphere was amazing. Winning at that track in front of my home crowd is simply something I will never forget, and a memory I go back to very often.”