Formula Regional European Championship racer Joshua Duerksen will step up to Formula 2 with PHM Racing in 2024.
The 20-year-old Paraguayan made the podium once during two seasons in FREC with Arden. He was 14th in the standings as a rookie, and slipped to 19th this year. More than half of his 2023 points tally came from a third place finish at Spa-Francorchamps.
While he follows FREC champion Andrea Kimi Antonelli in bypassing FIA Formula 3 with his move up to F2, he already has tasted success in F3-level racing as he made the podium on his Euroformula debut in 2021.
“I’m very excited to announce that I will be stepping up to F2 with PHM Racing. It’s a big step in my career, and I can’t wait to start this new and great challenge,” said Duerksen.
“It’s a huge honour and privilege to be the first Paraguayan driver in history to represent my country in F2.”
“Now, I’m focused on preparing in the best possible way with PHM for the season. The new car and new circuits will make this year a challenging and exciting one.”
Duerksen also took a podium in FRegional Middle East at the start of 2023, and during his three years in Formula 4 with Mucke Motorsport he was runner-up in the United Arab Emirates championship, then won four races across three Italian F4 campaigns and took two wins from two seasons in ADAC F4. When PHM was founded, it took on many former personnel from the Mucke F4 team.
PHM’s sporting director Roland Rehfeld acknowledged that Duerksen’s move to F2 is “a massive step” to manage for him and also for the team.
Duerksen took part in the FIA F3 post-season test at Imola with PHM and “impressed the team right from the start with his speed and his adaptation to the new car,” the team said in the announcement of his signing.
“Joshua convinced us with his ‘hands on’ attitude, working ethic and 100% dedication to his profession, which is essential to develop himself with the team at the highest stage of formula racing below Formula 1,” commented Rehfeld.
“[He] has more potential than he was able to show in 2023, but through F4 and FRegional Europe and Middle East he delivered already great performances and results.”
Rehfeld added: “I guess a whole country will support him as being the first Paraguayan driver, who is competing at this level. He in particular and all his supporters and partners deserve this chance and we will prepare him as best as possible to be competitive from the beginning on.”
Duerksen will join the team for the post-season test at Yas Marina Circuit which takes place at the end of this month.
Having run its F2 and F3 teams from Charouz Racing System’s Czech base in 2023, for next year the team has brought the operations in-house. The cars will be run from the former Zakspeed facility in Niederzissen in Germany.