Tommy Smith joins VAR for FIA F3
Zeewolde, December 22, 2022 - Australian racing driver Tommy Smith is set to race in the 2023 FIA F3 Championship with Van Amersfoort Racing. New to the series, Tommy will make his first appearance during the pre-season FIA F3 test at Bahrain mid-February.
The now 20-year-old Australian started his single-seater career by taking part in the New Zealand Formula 1600 Championship. Already in his first year of competition, Tommy was able to climb the podium, setting a standard to chase.
The Melburnian went on to gain more experience in Formula racing by competing in both the 2018 and 2019 edition of the Australian F4 Championship, finishing respectively 8th and 7th in the overall rankings. Parallel to the Australian F4 series, 2019 saw Smith take on an additional challenge by racing the New Zealand based Toyota Racing Series, sharing the grid with drivers like Liam Lawson and Marcus Armstrong.
Taking most out of 2019, Tommy appeared as well on the grid of the Asian F3 Championship, only to return to that very same series the next year, scoring consistent top ten finishes in 9 out of 15 races.
Having gained valuable experience in multiple single-seater racing categories so far, Smith was set up to make his European debut in the 2020 Formula Regional European Championship. However, his march forward was put to a standstill when the global pandemic hit, leaving the Australian without an opportunity to race.
His postponed European debut arrived in 2021, when he entered the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine. New to the European racetracks that FRECA visits, Smith not only focused on further developing his single-seater race craft, but also made use of the year to get fully acquainted with the tracks used by multiple championships.
Parallel to his FRECA season, Tommy joined the last three rounds of the 2021 GB3 series, returning full time to that same championship in 2022. It was this year’s edition of the GB3 series that set the stage for Smith’s first victory in Formula racing, which he claimed on the challenging track of Spa-Francorchamps.
Tommy Smith is excited about his next step: “I am absolutely thrilled about this opportunity. Having raced in both FRECA and GB3 championships, stepping up to the FIA F3 feels like the right next move. I’m certainly aware that it will be a challenging season in which I will have to learn and adapt continuously, but I am convinced I am taking on this challenge with the right team. VAR’s achievements already in their first year competing in FIA F3 are a clear indicator of their level of commitment, and I look very much forward to get started with them and the championship!”
An absolute highlight for Smith will for sure be the fact that the second round of the championship takes place in his hometown; Melbourne, Australia
“We are excited to have Tommy as part of our driver line-up” says Rob Niessink, CEO of Van Amersfoort Racing. “He is new to the FIA F3 Championship, but Tommy’s time spent in FRECA and GB3 will certainly help him to pick up quickly. Tommy is very eager to learn and quickly book progress. He showed this positive attitude already in the past and that will help both Tommy and the crew to jumpstart the season. We look very much forward to supporting him in this important next step of his career!”
Van Amersfoort Racing is a professional racing team based in the Netherlands. It was founded by Frits van Amersfoort in 1975. Since then, Van Amersfoort Racing has built a long tradition of supporting up-and-coming drivers on their way to higher levels. Drivers like Max and Jos Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Mick Schumacher, Kevin Magnussen and Giedo van der Garde all raced for Frits van Amersfoort’s eponymous team in the early stages of their careers before making it into Formula 1.