Van Amersfoort Racing have announced the signing of Argentinian driver Franco Colapinto to race with them for the 2022 season in their debut in FIA Formula 3, he will be racing alongside Rafael Villagómez and Reece Ushijima. Signing the dotted line off the back of a busy season, where he divided his time between single-seater and racing in the LMP2 category.
Colapinto finished sixth last season in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, there were appearances for the Argentinian in the World Endurance Championship and both the European and Asian Le Mans Series.
The 18-year-old made has already got some experience in the Formula 3 car making his debut in the machinery at the post-season test in Valencia where he was no slouch setting the fastest time on the second day.
Colapinto had a great time in his first outing in the machinery he will be driving this season, being more powerful than the FRECA car he had been used to driving all year but perhaps surprisingly handles similar to the LMP2 car he had been driving in the endurance categories of the sport.
“I really enjoyed my first time in the F3 car, it is obviously way more powerful than the FRECA car, but at the same time has surprisingly similar driving characteristics to the LMP2 car; fast and loads of downforce.”
The Argentinian understands that there will be challenges to this season such as tyre management but it is all part of a learning process which he looks forward to undertaking.
“A significant difference to the LMP2 class will of course be tyre management, but I like that intelligent part of racing. I really look forward to teaming up with Van Amersfoort Racing as they have such a strong history.”
Even though Colapinto’s debut comes at the same time as his teams, this is not a cause of concern for the Argentinian, it is more of excitement to be part of a journey and they do not have long to wait until the green light of the Bahrain test.
“They take their return to the FIA F3 championship extremely serious, and I am really excited to be part of that journey. The crew is motivated and an absolute pleasure to work with. Pre-season testing at Bahrain is just around the corner and I can’t wait for it to start!”
VAR CEO Rob Niessink said that he is excited to welcome a driver of the quality of Colapinto in the first year of their return to Formula 3, in doing numerous categories it shows the adaptability of the Argentinian something which the team looks forward to nurturing.
“We are excited to have Franco on board for our debut season in FIA F3. Looking at his career so far, he has shown to not only possess a good portion of raw talent, but that he also has the capability to quickly adapt to circumstances.”