Joshua Dufek continued to put valuable track time on his Formula 3 resumé at the second round of the 2022 Formula Regional Asian Championship at Dubai Autodrome, before leaving the desert venue with another Rookie Cup podium to his name.
The 17-year-old continues to learn the nuances of the 270hp Tatuus T-318 he is driving for Hitech GP in the five-round series, and had not seen the Dubai circuit prior to arriving for the second leg. With a tightly-packed schedule, there is little time to test outside of the official sessions, and Josh is as determined to make the most of every minute on track as he is to achieve success after stepping up from Formula 4 over the winter.
"Dubai Autodrome has a bit of everything," Josh noted. "A bit like you see in Bahrain, there is a surprising amount of elevation change in the circuit, and it's quite a technical track that requires you to be smooth on every application of the throttle, brake and steering. Because of that, my first impressions are positive because you feel rewarded when you put a decent lap together."
As expected, qualifying for round two proved to be the usual closely-matched affair, with Josh twice taking 12th overall when as little as a half-second improvement would have given him a place in the top six. Finishing where he started in the opening race meant that he'd also start where he finished for race two, with only the top ten drivers having their positions reversed when the grid was drawn up. Despite making a slow getaway, a similar result was on the horizon for the Swiss resident until the closing stages, but he saved his best for last, showing the sort of form that made him a top ten regular at round one in Abu Dhabi.
"Race three was definitely the best race of the weekend," Josh recounted. "I had a decent start and was battling for almost the whole race with drivers within the top ten. I was looking good in P8 until a car spun right in front of me at Turn One, which cost me a couple of positions, but, even though it was disappointing to have only finished tenth, that was still a good result for the pace we had this weekend. It was also second overall amongst the Rookie Cup entries, so there was something to show for the effort.
"Race one had been quite uneventful and, in the second race, I was making up for a poor start when I made a small mistake and lost some of the positions I had regained so, if you just look at the results, it wasn’t my best weekend. However, we made it to the chequered flag in all three races, which meant that I maximised my track time and that ensured I learnt a lot and gained more experience in the car, which will stand me in good stead for the rest of the year."
Josh will be back in action this coming weekend (4-6 February), as the Formula Regional Asian Championship field remains in Dubai for round three.