Former karting ace Joshua Dufek will take another step on the single-seater racing ladder this season, teaming up with Van Amersfoort Racing to compete in both the ADAC German and Italian national F4 series.
The 16-year-old will take on two of the toughest regional F4 series in Europe — with a full Italian Championship programme and selected ADAC races on his schedule — having already competed in Spanish F4in 2020. Despite his inexperience, Josh recorded eight podium finishes, plus a pole position and fastest lap, during the course of the 21-race campaign, which resulted in him taking fourth overall in the final championship standings.
Joining Van Amersfoort Racing will see the youngster attempting to make his mark alongside an impressive VAR alumni — including current F1 stars Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc and recently-crowned FIA F2 champion Mick Schumacher — as the Dutch team chases further titles to those won over its storied 46-year history.
Josh, who was born in England but races under a Swiss flag, is no stranger to success either, having been a winner under an intense global spotlight from the age of nine, when he claimed the prestigious Vega Trofeo kart title. Since then, he has added championship wins in his Swiss homeland, as well as race wins and pole positions en route to a top four placing in the X30 Junior category of Germany’s ADAC Masters series, before stepping up to the highest category in international karting in the biggest possible way.
As a member of the 2019 Sauber Karting Team, Josh was instantly running at the front of the OK Senior pack — despite being one of the youngest drivers in the 100-strong field — but saved his best for last, taking pole position and dominating in the wet during the CIK FIA World Championship crown at Alahärmä in Finland.
Launched in 2014, the FIA Formula 4 category has rapidly become the go-to stepping stone between karting and the higher echelons of single-seater racing. Designed to be to be affordable, it also allows talent-spotters to compare drivers not just against rivals in their own country, but on an international scale. The German and Italian F4 series in which Van Amersfoort Racing competes are renowned as two of the most hotly-disputed in the world and will provide a good test of Josh’s abilities.
“I’m really happy to announce my programme for 2021,” the Geneva-based driver admits. “I’m really looking forward to racing in two championships this season, even though I know that the competition in both the German and Italian series is going to be tough. To that end, I’m delighted to have Van Amersfoort Racing on my side and can’t wait to get started.”
Josh will also enjoy the added benefit of specialist management and coaching in 2021, having joined the Peak Performance Management stable headed up by former GP3 rivals Kevin Korjus and Matthew Parry.
“We’re delighted that Josh has joined the PPM family and look forward to supporting him in his F4 endeavours this season,” Korjus commented. “With a year of single-seater racing already under his belt, and racing with Van Amersfoort in 2021, we’re confident that a successful season lies ahead.”