Sean Walkinshaw - Team West-Tec F3Oxfordshire’s Sean Walkinshaw has agreed a deal with leading squad Team West-Tec to contest the full 2013 European Formula 3 Open season – preceded by the two-event Winter Series which will begin in mid-February.

Set to pilot a Dallara F308 in the ‘Copa’ Class of the ultra-competitive championship, the 19-year-old from Chipping Norton will begin preparations for his debut campaign in Europe with a three-day test outing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain, later this month.

“It’s great to have confirmed our plans for next year so early”, said Sean, “I’ve already tested with West-Tec and it all went really well, the guys are great to work with, so I can’t wait to get our winter programme underway.

“Euro F3 Open really has become one of the best Formula 3 championships around over the last few years, it’s very competitive and a fantastic place to learn and develop as a driver. F3 is the right step for me after two years in Formula Renault, plus we’ll be racing on some great international tracks.”

In just two short years of motor racing at any level, Sean has made terrific progress – in particular his recently concluded 2012 season in which he dovetailed his second year of Protyre Formula Renault BARC action with a part campaign in the InterSteps Championship.

Debuting in Formula 3 back in September in the MSV F3 Cup, the Gloucester Rugby-supported racer starred with a remarkable winning double at the wheel of a Dallara F302. During the year he also experienced action in Formula BMW Asia and the Indian-based MRF Challenge, the latter supporting the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Corby-based Team West-Tec, a multiple championship winning squad in European F3 Open headed by Gavin Wills and John Miller, has an enviable record in the series. Winning the Copa de Espana Class during its maiden season in 2007, the squad secured its second title in 2009 and then did the double in 2011 with Copa and overall team championship success.

“I am delighted to welcome Sean to the team”, said Miller, “He hasn’t had the karting experience of some of his rivals, but he has had a busy year gaining experience and impressed the whole team in testing with his speed, endurance and intelligence. I am sure he is going to do well.”

European F3 Open’s 2013 Winter Series will commence on 15th/16th February at Paul Ricard HTTT in France with the second event, at Jerez in Spain, scheduled for 1st/2nd March. The main 2013 season will get underway with a return visit to Paul Ricard, over the weekend 27th/28th April, and will reach its conclusion on 9th/10th November in Barcelona, Spain.

Photo by Alan Smeaton/AS Autosport.