The number of drivers confirmed for the 2022 GB3 Championship season rose to four on Wednesday, as Douglas Motorsport announced the signing of 2021 Walter Hayes Trophy winner Max Esterson.
The 19-year-old contested his first full karting season in 2019 after an impressive journey in sim racing since the age of 11.
Supported by iRacing, he is one of the top five iRacers in the US, and became the Road to Indy eSports Champion this year after a race-winning US F1600 Championship Series season in 2020.
He also experienced winged single-seaters in a partial US F2000 Championship Series campaign last year, winning his only race in the category.
He then took on the British Formula Ford scene, competing in the 2020 and 2021 Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy.
This year brought a second-place finish in the FF Festival and an overall Walter Hayes Trophy win, the latter yielding a test with Douglas.
He spent most of 2021 contesting the BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 Championship, staying in the title race until the final round with Low Dempsey Racing.
Esterson was confirmed as winning the Team USA Scholarship in October, meaning he represented the USA with podium finishes and wins at the FF Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy.
His path has been similar to that of 2020 Team USA scholar Bryce Aron, who took ninth place in the final GB3 standings with Carlin this year.
He took the flagship Formula Ford event of the season in dominant fashion at Silverstone, securing a Grand Slam in every session he contested and taking a lights-to-flag win in the final race.
Esterson becomes Douglas Motorsport’s first American driver, stepping into a team which took a GB3 podium with Dexter Patterson at Brands Hatch in the first round of 2021.
Douglas Motorsport Team Principal Wayne Douglas said: “We’re looking forward to competing in the GB3 Championship once again next season.
“With some exciting upgrades to the car being introduced and a fantastic 2022 calendar, the series firmly remains the pinnacle of the UK single-seater scene.”
Douglas was understandably effusive in his praise of his new recruit, who goes into a winter testing schedule already knowing many British circuits from two seasons in Formula Fords.
“Max is a very talented young driver and we’re delighted to welcome him to the team,” he said.
“He’s put in some superb performances in Formula Ford this season, particularly in the two big events in recent weeks, and if his early testing times are anything to go by, we’re confident he’ll be a leading name in GB3 as well.”
Esterson is equally positive about the move to GB3 and his adaptation to the full slicks-and-wings experience.
“I’m really excited to continue my single-seater career with a step up into the GB3 Championship with Douglas Motorsport,” he said.
“Switching from the Formula Ford to the GB3 car was a bit of an adjustment, but Wayne and the team have done a great job welcoming me to the series and are providing me with a great place to continue learning.
“Testing has gone well so far and we are already working hard to prepare for the first race of the season in April.”