Race-winner Max Esterson will return to the GB3 Championship in 2023, after being confirmed as Fortec Motorsport’s first signing for the new season.

Esterson ended his 2022 campaign triumphantly by winning the Formula Ford Festival, leading every lap of the event and becoming the first American driver to have won both the Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy events, having claimed the latter in 2021.

Prior to his end of season success, Esterson showed plenty of promise in his maiden campaign of slicks and wings racing, the 20-year-old claimed his first GB3 win at Donington Park in May, and took an additional podium at the same circuit, plus an excellent second place at Spa-Francorchamps in July.

Although he ran as high as third in the championship mid-season, seventh in the overall standings saw the Red Bull athlete also claim a pole position and fastest laps in just his third season of car racing at any level.

One of the world’s leading iRacing contenders, the New Yorker only started karting in 2019, and graduated to a partial year of car racing just one year later, taking wins in the US F1600 and F2000 categories.

Moving to the UK in 2021, Esterson was a championship challenger in the National Formula Ford Championship, won the prestigious Team USA Scholarship, finished as the runner-up in that year’s Formula Ford Festival before winning the 2021 Walter Hayes Trophy event.

He then graduated straight into GB3 for 2022, showing strong and consistent form despite going against drivers with significantly more experience and circuit knowledge.

Now joining Fortec Motorsport for his second GB3 campaign, Esterson is hoping to continue his upward progress.

Esterson said: “I’m excited to be returning to the GB3 Championship – it will be nice for the first time ever for me to be doing a second year in a series – and great to be doing it with a team like Fortec who have such a tradition of success in every series they have run. I was fortunate to have tested a variety of cars at the end of the year, and while I had offers to head to Europe in 2023, I’m still early in my career and have a lot to learn. The GB3 Championship and the pace of the GB3 car provide a great situation for me to continue learning with a balance of high-level competition and generous track time in a quick car.”

Fortec Motorsport Team Manager Oliver Dutton said: “Signing Max shows how determined we are to challenge for the GB3 title again in 2023. He did a very impressive job in GB3 this season considering his lack of racing experience, and his high points were very good. By joining us, we reckon he will be able to fine tune his development just that little bit more, and we can really push him on to try and take a title that he’s definitely capable of.”