Dutch racing team Van Amersfoort Racing has signed Sophia Floersch for the rest of the 2018 FIA European F3 Championship in the third car.

The 17-year-old took part in the pre-season test with VAR, but couldn’t start the season due to her school exams. She will now start during Round 4 at Zandvoort, partnering with Artem Petrov and Keyvan Andres.

“After a period in which I had to give priority to passing my school exams, it feels great to know I will be back in the racing seat again to fully focus on my racing career,” she said. “I am very grateful to my loyal sponsors and the effort put in by VAR and their engine partner HWA and the further partners that will join our project, which we will announce soon.

“Stepping up from Formula 4 into the highly competitive FIA Formula 3 European Championship is an extreme challenge, but we all see it as a next step up the learning curve.

“I will give my utmost to reward all stakeholders and with the experience and support of VAR, I am convinced that I will learn a lot. I have more than ever an excited feeling about my future career.”

Floersch steps up from Formula 4 where she has spent the last two seasons with Motopark and Mucke Motorsport, collecting points as well as the two podiums. She is also part of the Dare To Be Different programme.

Team boss Frits van Amersfoort said: “We warmly welcome Sophia to the team. Her drive to climb the autosport ladder deserves lots of respect. During winter testing her performance behind the wheel convinced us of her qualities.

“We expect that with enough mileage and time to learn, she can be competitive in Formula 3. Of course it is not ideal to enter the series now the season is already underway, but we will use all our experience and dedication to help Sophia get familiar with Formula 3 as soon as possible.”

Not only she will compete in the rest of the seven rounds in the 2018 season, but she will also drive for the team in the prestigious and annual Macau GP race – her first time on the demanding street circuit.