Home Featured Alpine adds Floersch to academy as it launches ‘Rac(H)er’ junior team

Alpine adds Floersch to academy as it launches ‘Rac(H)er’ junior team

by Ida Wood

Photo: Alpine

Alpine has made a surprise addition to its academy as Formula 3 racer Sophia Floersch was announced as joining the driver development programme during the team’s 2023 Formula 1 launch.

The reveal of what was understood to be the full Alpine Academy line-up came on Tueday, as it revamped the programme to include drivers from below F3 – who in 2022 could only be involved in the academy as affiliate members.

On Thursday evening, Alpine announced Floersch as the ninth member while announcing new developments for its female-focused ‘Rac(H)er’ programme.

Floersch, who is 22, raced in FIA European F3 back in 2018 and infamously crashed in the Macau Grand Prix at the end of that year. She then stepped down to Formula Regional Europe for 2019, before moving back up to the new FIA F3 Championship in 2020 while also racing in the European Le Mans Series.

At the Le Mans 24 Hours she came ninth in the LMP2 class and 13th overall, and remained in sportscars for the next two years. She was 13th in the World Endurance Championship’s LMP2 class in 2021 and in ELMS in 2022, and also came 18th in the DTM two years ago.

Her F3 return comes with PHM Racing by Charouz, and she returned to single-seaters this week in pre-season testing at Bahrain.

“Joining the Alpine Academy is an honour and a major opportunity in my career,” said Floersch.

“I have great ambitions and I am sure by applying the knowledge and expertise from Alpine, it will only help me grow. I can’t wait to start this new chapter and represent the Alpine brand on the global stage.”

In addition to recieving guidance from Academy director Julian Rouse and coach Alice Powell, Floersch will also benefit from Alpine’s new coach Nicola Adams. The Olympic gold medallist boxer has been brought in to support not only Alpine’s juniors but also their factory staff.

Alpine launched Rac(H)er last year to promote greater opportunities for women across its operations and has now revealed a karting-focused programme that will start off by supporting six drivers: Aiva Anagnostiadis, Chiara Battig, Lisa Billard, Maria Chiara Nardelli, Kaur Kera Sukhmani and Angelina Proenca.

This will be separate to the academy and “a tailor-made, purpose-built sports programme” will be developed for the Rac(H)er members.