Joey Mawson to make the next step in 2017

2016 German Formula 4 Champion Joey Mawson will make the transition into the FIA European Formula 3 Championship in 2017
2016 German Formula 4 Champion Joey Mawson will make the transition into the FIA European Formula 3 Championship in 2017

Australian Joey Mawson will take the next step towards the pinnacle of world motorsport in 2017.

After claiming the ADAC German Formula 4 Championship last year ahead of Mick Schumacher, the PODIUM-backed driver will remain with his title-winning team Van Amersfoort Racing for the 2017 FIA European Formula 3 Championship.

The 10-round championship has been the springboard for many of the modern-day Formula 1 drivers, none more so than 2016 Champion Lance Stroll who will join the Williams Formula 1 team in 2017.

2015 Champion Felix Rosenqvist has graduated into the Formula E Championship while the previous year’s Champion Esteban Ocon, who defeated current Red Bull Formula One driver Max Verstappen on his way to the championship, will compete in the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship with Force India.

Mawson is continuing to aim to follow in the footsteps of fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo who climbed through the European open-wheel scene before breaking through into the Formula 1 ranks.

For Mawson, the opportunity to remain with the Van Amersfoort team to take the next step in his career is a very exciting one.

“This will be my third year with Van Amersfoort and I’m really excited about the adventure of moving into Formula 3 with them,” said Mawson.

“To win the Championship last year with them and the team at PODIUM was a real dream come true, that was our aim at the start of the year and we achieved everything that we set out to do.

“Now, it’s the next big step in my career.  It’s a very big step from Formula 4 to Formula 3 but one that I’m really looking forward to.

“I’ve tested a couple of times late last year and felt right at home.  I’ll be aiming to make the most of every opportunity in 2017 and beyond.”

Van Amersfoort Racing Team Principal Frits van Amersfoort is delighted to have Mawson remain with his team for a third consecutive year.

“In the past two seasons, and especially with his title-winning campaign last year, Joey has clearly demonstrated his abilities and I am convinced that, given the right support, he has what it takes to do well in Formula 3,” said van Amersfoort.

“In making the transition from Formula 4 to Formula 3 together with us, he is following in the footsteps of other drivers who made the same step in the past.

“This Van Amersfoort Racing single-seater staircase is what we had in mind when we committed to racing in various junior formulae. We believe in long-term relationships and therefore, we are delighted to have Joey continue with us.”

Mawson will continue to be backed by the Australian consortium PODIUM, who supported him during his successful 2016 campaign.

Mawson will head back to Europe in the coming weeks before the Formula 3 Championship begins on April 14 at the famous Silverstone circuit in England alongside a round of the World Endurance Championship.

2017 Formula 3 European Championship Schedule
14 – 16 April Silverstone (Great Britain) [WEC]
29 – 30 April Monza (Italy) [WTCC]
20 – 21 May Pau (France) [F3 GP]
17 – 18 June Hungaroring (Hungary) [DTM]
1 – 2 July Norisring (Germany) [DTM]
28 – 29 July Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) [Blancpain GT Series]
19 – 20 August Zandvoort (The Netherlands) [DTM]
9 – 10 September Nürburgring (Germany) [DTM]
23 – 24 September Red Bull Ring – Spielberg (Austria) [DTM]
14 – 15 October Hockenheim (Germany) [DTM]

Joey Mawson finishes Runner-up in MRF Challenge on countback

Joey Mawson aboard his PODIUM-backed entry in Chennai
Joey Mawson aboard his PODIUM-backed entry in Chennai

Australian Joey Mawson came tantalizingly close to securing the 2017 MRF Challenge victory in Chennai, India on the weekend.

The PODIUM-backed driver led the four-round championship entering the final weekend of competition and appeared on track to secure the second open-wheel championship of his flourishing career.

After an issue in qualifying left him down in seventh place on the grid for the opening race, the 2016 ADAC German Formula 4 Championship showed true determination across the four races of the weekend.

Following a fourth-placed finish in race one, the Sydney-sider then dominated the second 15-lap encounter to claim victory by more than nine seconds and enter the final day of competition with a 27-point advantage.

Starting Race three from sixth position Mawson clawed his way up the order to once again finish fourth while one of his main championship rivals, Mick Schumacher, crashed out of the race – ending his title hopes.  Mawson’s other main rival Harrison Newey took the win to ensure the battle for the title went down to the final race.

Starting from pole position in the final race, the grid set by the fastest laps of the weekend, Mawson made a tremendous start to lead the way. Following a safety car intervention on the opening lap Mawson was pressured by Newey but the Australian held the Englishman at bay for several laps.

With five laps remaining Newey made the most of his opportunities and found a way past Mawson with Schumacher also following him through relegating Mawson back to third place.

The victory and subsequent bonus points for the fastest lap by Newey was enough to have him finish equal on points with Mawson. However, Newey was awarded the title on a countback based on the number of race wins.

“It has been a tough weekend, I had a difficult car all across the weekend battling with the set-up but I put up the best fight that I could,” said Mawson.

“It hurts to lose by so little but it has been a good experience doing the MRF Challenge and I’ve really had some good battles while continually learning.

“A big thank you must go to the team at PODIUM who have put so much into me and I’m really looking forward to a big year ahead with them right behind me.”

Mawson was the only driver to finish inside the top six in every one of the 16 races and recorded 12 podium results.