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Josh Dufek belied his lack of Formula Three experience during winter testing in Spain as he featured at the top of the timesheets in preparation for a possible graduation to the Formula Regional European Championship in 2022.

The teenager, who racked up a series of podium finishes — including victory at Mugello — during a dual campaign in the ADAC and Italian F4 series this past season, has spent much of his winter travelling between circuits across southern Europe in a bid to gain as much F3 data as possible as he looks to shift his single-seater career up a gear next year. While track time in Barcelona and Valencia was spent with his 2021 team, Van Amersfoort Racing, Josh also tried out with the ART Grand Prix team at Paul Ricard and, for his category debut, MP Motorsport at both the Red Bull Ring and Mugello, posting encouraging results with each.

The multi-national driver was a fixture on the fringes of the top ten during his initial outings, before moving towards the top of order as the field returned to the Circuit de Catalunya in November. Better still came as the test season wound down towards Christmas, with Josh leading the way over a further two days at the Circuit de Catalunya, improving his lap times by half a second during the course of the session.

"It's been a busy few weeks, but the experience has been invaluable," Josh noted. "Obviously, having raced F4 all year, we did not expect to be that fast that early, especially as there are many experienced guys preparing for their second or even third year in the category.

"The F3 car took a little getting used to, as it is a big step from the 160hp F4 car to a much heavier 270hp machine. However, I feel that I adapted well, with good points in almost every test. We were fastest for MP Motorsport through the first 45 minutes of the second afternoon in Austria, and jumped up to third overall as the wet track dried in Barcelona — where the top 20 was covered by less than a second! Returning to Barcelona allowed us to build on what we had learned first time around, and that progress was clearly on show at the final test to end the year on a high.

"I'm looking forward to a little time off over the Christmas holiday, time that I can spend analysing the feedback from the past few weeks, but I can't wait to be back on track next year, hopefully with something exciting to announce!"


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