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Franco Colapinto gets FIA F3 drive with Van Amersfoort Racing

by Peter Allen

Franco Colapinto has secured a move up to the FIA Formula 3 Championship this year with new entrant Van Amersfoort Racing.

Since winning the Spanish Formula 4 title in 2019, Colapinto has spent the past two seasons at Formula Regional level, coming third in both the Toyota Racing Series and Formula Renault Eurocup in 2020, the latter with MP Motorsport.

He remained with MP for the newly merged Formula Regional European Championship in 2021 and recovered from a difficult start – where he missed four of the first six races – to claim two victories and finish sixth in the points.

Colapinto also impressed in sportscar racing last year with LMP2 team G-Drive Racing in the Asian and European Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours, and now gets the chance to race in FIA F3 having tested there previously with MP.

“I really enjoyed my first time in the F3 car,” he said. “It is obviously way more powerful than the FREC car, but at the same time has surprisingly similar driving characteristics to the LMP2 car; fast and loads of downforce. A significant difference to the LMP2 class will of course be tyre management, but I like that intelligent part of racing.

“I really look forward to teaming up with Van Amersfoort Racing as they have such a strong history. They take their return to the FIA F3 championship extremely serious, and I am really excited to be part of that journey.

“The crew is motivated and an absolute pleasure to work with. Pre-season testing at Bahrain is just around the corner and I can’t wait for it to start.”

Colapinto completes the FIA F3 line-up for VAR, which has taken over the entry of HWA in both F3 and Formula 2 for 2022. His team-mates will be Rafael Villagomez and Reece Ushijima.

“We are excited to have Franco on board for our debut season in FIA F3,” said VAR CEO Rob Niessink.

“Looking at his career so far, he has shown to not only possess a good portion of raw talent, but that he also has the capability to quickly adapt to circumstances.

“We had our eye on him already as a potential candidate, which was reinforced after seeing him perform during the post-season test at Valencia, early November last year.

“We have thoroughly structured our F3 team over the winter period and are more than ready to hit the track early March in Bahrain.”