Formula 3 graduate Joshua Dufek will take his place on the 2022 Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine grid after inking a deal to remain with Van Amersfoort Racing for a second season.
The 17-year-old first raced with the Dutch team in 2021, claiming a race win at Mugello alongside a string of podium finishes to help VAR clinch the teams' title in both the ADAC and Italian F4 championships. Re-signing with Van Amersfoort also allows Josh to continue following the wheeltracks of previous team alumni, including current F1 stars Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Mick Schumacher.
The Formula Regional European Championship bridges the gap between F4 and the FIA F3 series that features on the Formula One support programme, providing rising talent with an entry point to the F3 category. Now in its second season after merging with the Formula Renault Eurocup, the 2022 FRECA campaign will visit ten F1 tracks between April and October, including a prestigious support slot on the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. The championship will be the headline category at three other rounds — including the opening and closing events at Monza and Mugello respectively — as well as featuring alongside the Spa 24 Hours in July.
Josh, who was born in England but races under a Swiss flag, spent the end of 2021 gaining as much F3 experience as possible, and has already tested FRECA's single-spec Tatuus T318-Renault at four of the circuits he will encounter this season: Barcelona, Paul Ricard, the Red Bull Ring and Mugello. Boosted by a series of encouraging performances, he has since contested the opening rounds of the Formula Regional Asia championship in preparation for his assault on the European series, but retains his rookie status heading into the summer campaign, which begins at Monza over the weekend of 23-24 April.
“I’m excited to announce my 2022 programme in Formula Regional European by Alpine — and to confirm that I will be remaining with Van Amersfoort Racing as I take another step on the road to F1,” Josh commented. “We enjoyed a lot of success in F4 last season and I'm looking forward to picking up where we left off in winter testing. Having contested the opening three rounds of Formula Regional Asia, I'm feeling more and more comfortable in the car, and, with that extra experience under my belt, I'm optimistic that we can challenge for rookie honours in FRECA this summer.”
Having joined the company ahead of his 2021 campaign, Josh will continue to benefit from the specialist management and coaching services of Peak Performance Management this season.
“We’re delighted to see Josh confirm his graduation to the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine and look forward to accompanying him and Van Amersfoort Racing this season,” PPM director Kevin Korjus noted. “His performances in both post-season testing and Formula Regional Asia have been encouraging and should stand him in good stead for the year ahead.”