The opening salvos of F4 pre-season testing have provided additional optimism for Josh Dufek as he heads into his dual campaign in the Italian and German national championships.
The Van Amersfoort Racing driver, who moves to the two series after a successful year in Spanish F4, has had to learn new circuits as he prepares for the 2021 season, but made continual progress throughout the sessions at the Red Bull Ring, Zandvoort and Oschersleben.
The first outing with his new team saw Josh having to contend with more than just the unfamiliar surroundings of the Austrian Grand Prix venue, as snow affected both scheduled sessions, leading to the majority of the participants opting to continue into a third day. Having posted top ten times in the tricky conditions, the 16-year-old vaulted into the top five on the extra day, getting 216 laps under his belt across the extended test.
Inclement weather followed the ADAC series runners to Holland for the second test of the season, with persistent snowfall limiting the action on day one and contributing to a tricky track surface 24 hours later. Having posted the eighth-best time over four interrupted sessions, Josh was happy to find a drying circuit on day two, briefly topping the standings as lap times improved, and eventually claiming fifth overall amid another 111 laps of valuable running.
Better still was to come at the most recent ADAC test, with Josh clocking in third overall at Oschersleben, making the most of the opening session before the German track was hit by rain in the latter part of day one. The performance would have been a confidence boost ahead of the opening round of the German series had Oschersleben not been rescheduled due to COVID concerns, and the ADAC calendar will now begin at the Red Bull Ring over the weekend of 11-13 June. As a result, Josh’s first competitive outing with Van Amersfoort will now be the opening round of the Italian series, at Paul Ricard, on 16 May.
“I am very happy with the progress we have made during pre-season testing, and it is a good platform to start the season from,”Josh commented. “It has been quite a challenge learning new circuits every time I went out, and some have been easier than others, but we appear to have been competitive at each test, so I’m looking forward to putting everything I have learned into action. It is a shame that the first race weekend has been cancelled, as I was really looking forward to getting the season underway and now I have to wait another three weeks before I can finally race again!”