Hector Hurst will contest the FIA Formula Two Championship this season, it has been announced.
The 19-year-old will step up to the series from Formula Renault BARC, where he took part in his maiden single-seater campaign last year.
He tested the F2 car at the two-day test at Barcelona at the end of last year, recording the 11th fastest time on the opening day and claiming a third best time in one of the sessions on the second day.
“I'm really looking forward to my first season of F2, especially racing at all the top European circuits on the calendar,” said Hurst, who is based in Lymington in Hampshire.
“I really enjoyed driving the car in Barcelona and loved the way it handled as well as how precise it felt. This year is going to be a learning curve for me but I aim to be challenging for podiums as the season progresses and would love to finish in the top five.”
F2 chief executive Jonathan Palmer is confident that Hurst will perform well despite the sizeable step up.
“Hector did a fantastic job during F2's winter testing programme in Barcelona, showing competitive pace from the very start,” said Palmer.
“Whilst F2 is clearly a big step for Hector, F2's unique data sharing facility enables relatively inexperienced racers to be very close to front running pace, often surprising and impressing with their results. I have no doubt Hector will do just that in 2012.”
Hurst is managed by former F1 driver Mark Blundell, who explained why he would be racing in F2 this year.
“F2 is a great proving ground for a young driver and the equality of the championship and data sharing between cars and drivers allows a driver's talent to show through quickly. This is a big reason why we have chosen F2 for Hector's next step in his career,” said Blundell.