Tasmanian Alex Peroni is set to take part in official testing for the new-for-2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship next week.
FIA Formula 3 represents the merger of GP3 and FIA European F3 and therefore becomes the third rung on the grand prix ladder, below Formula 1 and Formula 2.
Peroni will test with Spanish outfit Campos Racing at the Yas Marina Circuit in the hope of progressing to the championship after another race-winning year in Formula Renault Eurocup.
Aside from that victory and also a runner-up finish on the Monaco Grand Prix support card, he also bagged two race wins in Formula Renault North European Championship at Pau.
“I’m incredibly excited to be testing for the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship,” said Peroni.
“It’s actually a double-step up from Formula Renault, because the new Formula 3 car will have a lot more power – 410 bhp compared to 210 bhp – and more aerodynamic downforce.
“But after four years in junior development categories I’m ready for the challenge of racing in a top-level series.
“This year was at times frustrating, because there weren’t many races where we had the speed to challenge for wins or even podiums.
“I was usually competitive on twisty, low-speed tracks like Monaco, Pau and Hungaroring, especially when there wasn’t a lot of grip. But as a racing driver you want to be competitive all the time.
“I’ve put all that behind me, and am fully focused on the three-day test at Abu Dhabi in the week after the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
“It won’t be easy driving a faster car on an unfamiliar circuit, but it’s something I’ve had to do before. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
Peroni is still working on securing finances to race in FIA Formula 3, and the CAMS Foundation hosted a fundraising function in Melbourne for him last week.
“It’s great that the CAMS Foundation has stepped in at this crucial stage,” the 18-year-old added.
“Now I’m more optimistic than ever of securing the funding to achieve my ultimate goal of racing in Formula 1.
“Thanks to my 2018 supporters and corporate sponsors, in particular Blundstone, RACT and Richardson Devine Marine. They’ve given me the opportunity to go further than I ever dreamed as a seven-year-old racing karts in Tasmania.
“I’ll keep doing everything I can to justify their support into the future.”
The test takes place on November 29-December 1.
All rounds of next year’s championship will take place at F1 grands prix.