ASPIRING Formula 1 racer Calan Williams has reached his biggest milestone yet.
The 19-year-old from Edgewater will compete in the 2020 FIA Formula 3 Championship with Swiss-based team Jenzer Motorsport following a successful three-day test in Valencia.
The championship, which has taken over from GP3, will take place over nine rounds, all at Formula 1 Grand Prix events.
It also places Williams in one of the top 50 seats outside of F1, with 20 in FIA F2 and 30 in F3.
Since winning the 2017 Australian Formula 3 Championship in his debut season, Williams has raced with Fortec Motorsport in the 2018 and 2019 Euroformula Open F3 Championship on some of the most famous F1 circuits through Europe.
“I am incredibly excited about the year ahead, and to be able to race during F1 events in front of F1 teams is a huge opportunity,” Williams said.
“Driving the car in Valencia was an amazing experience.
“It was a real step up from the Formula 3 car I have driven for the past two seasons in Europe, with much more power, more downforce, and being a larger car it was heavier and more physical to drive.”
Williams said the conditions for the testing in Valencia were very challenging.
“Having my first outing in the car in the wet was certainly being thrown in the deep end,” he said.
“But to be P16 of the 30 drivers on day two, with most of those ahead being current drivers in the 2019 championship, was really pleasing.
“Also to be only seven tenths of a second off the quickest time was even better, and considering it was my first time in the car, a really good place to start.”
Jenzer Motorsport team principal Andreas Jenzer said he was pleased to meet Williams when he visited their workshop for a seat fitting before the testing.
“After spending some time with our engineers on preparation work for the Valencia test, it was obvious to see he is a professional and focused young Australian man,” he said.
“Following on from the three-day test, which was held in a range of varying conditions, clearly we could see his potential.
“We are excited to be working together with him next year and look forward to a successful partnership.”
Prior to the testing in Valencia, Williams spent the week in Switzerland with the team.
“All of the team are fantastic and everything clicked very quickly,” he said.
“I really like the way they are focused to achieve the best results on track and have high expectations, but are also interested in how I continue to develop as a whole person outside of racing.
“Switzerland also looks like a great place to be spending quite some time next year.”
The 2020 FIA F3 Championship starts with three days of official testing at Bahrain in March ahead of Round 1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix later that month.
FIA F3 Championship Calendar
Round 1: March 19-22 at F1 Bahrain Grand Prix
Round 2: April 30-May 3 at F1 Dutch Grand Prix
Round 3: May 7-10 at F1 Spanish Grand Prix
Round 4: July 2-5 at F1 Austrian Grand Prix
Round 5: July 16-19 at F1 British Grand Prix
Round 6: July 30-August 2 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix
Round 7: August 27-30 at F1 Belgian Grand Prix
Round 8: September 3-6 at F1 Italian Grand Prix
Round 9: September 24-27 at F1 Russian Grand Prix