Drivex School has added Shihab Al Habsi to its line-up for the Euroformula season, which starts next weekend at the Hungaroring.
The 16-year-old Omani has raced in Formula 4 for the last two years in mostly part-time programmes, but picking up wins in three series.
He led the Spanish F4 points last year before leaving the championship, and was in the top four in the standings in the South East Asia and United Arab Emirates series.
Due to travel restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic he hasn’t tested Euroformula’s new Dallara 320 car, which will be making its race debut at the same time as Al Habsi.
“Signing with Drivex is a dream come true and I am excited to be competing in the Euroformula Open championship,” said Al Habsi.
“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has stopped me testing since March and this is my first chance to get back in a race car and try out the new Dallara.”
Middle Eastern entries have a strong track record in Euroformula, with Lebanese team Cedars Motorsport running Marco Barba to the driver’s title and Lebanese driver Noel Jammal to the Copa class title in 2010 as well as topping the teams standings, and Emirati Ed Jones winning the 2013 title before setting off for a career in IndyCar.
“It is a pleasure to welcome Shihab to Drivex because he is a youngster who should be considered a huge prospect and we feel sure Drivex will be able to live up to his full potential,” said Drivex team boss Miguel Angel de Castro.
“Despite his youth, Shihab has gained experience in several top feeder series around the world, in which he proved to have race-winning potential.
“For sure, the Formula 3-based EF Open is another step forward in his racing career with a car generating much more downforce, which is also more physically demanding. It is going to be a real challenge for him but I have no doubts he is ready to take up this new chapter.”
Al Habsi completes Drivex’s line-up alongside fellow Spanish F4 graduate Glenn van Berlo, and brings the Euroformula grid up to 14 confirmed entries for the Hungaroring season opener. Another two cars are expected to be filled by drivers before racing begins.