Briton joins F2 following impressive showing in winter testing
19-year-old Hector Hurst will contest his maiden season in international single seater racing after becoming the latest name to be confirmed for the 2012 FIA Formula Two Championship.
The British driver began racing in karts at the age of 13 before his talents saw him rise through the ranks, impressing in the BRDC Stars of Tomorrow Championship as well as the MSA Kartmasters Grand Prix.
In 2008, Hurst became a finalist on the Formula BMW European Scholarship programme, despite having no previous car racing experience, whilst continuing his progression on the national karting scene. He then elected to sit out much of the 2010 season in order to concentrate on his education.
Hector returned a year later to make his single seater debut in the Formula Renault BARC series driving for Scorpio Motorsport. In spite of his lack of experience and time away, the Brit quickly impressed by scoring a top five finish in his first race. He went on to become a regular top 10 finisher, ending the season 13th overall and one of the leading rookies.
He gained his first experience of the Williams JPH1B F2 car when he took part in two days of winter testing in Barcelona at the end of 2011, running 11th quickest overall on day one before going third fastest in session three the following day.
Hurst, who is based in Lymington, Hampshire, said: “I’m really looking forward to my first season of F2, especially racing at all the top European circuits on the calendar. I really enjoyed driving the car in Barcelona and loved the way it handled as well as how precise it felt. This year is going to be a learning curve for me but I aim to be challenging for podiums as the season progresses and would love to finish in the top five.”
Jonathan Palmer, Formula Two Chief Executive, said: “Hector did a fantastic job during F2’s winter testing programme in Barcelona, showing competitive pace from the very start. Whilst F2 is clearly a big step for Hector, F2’s unique data sharing facility enables relatively inexperienced racers to be very close to front running pace, often surprising and impressing with their results. I have no doubt Hector will do just that in 2012.”
Former F1 driver and director of 2mb Mark Blundell, who is Hurst’s manager, added: “F2 is a great proving ground for a young driver and the equality of the championship and data sharing between cars and drivers allows a driver’s talent to show through quickly. This is a big reason why we have chosen F2 for Hector’s next step in his career.”