Following her horrific accident at Macau last month, it's been announced that Sophia Floersch will return to Formula 3 machinery in 2019 in the rebranded Formula European Masters championship.
Floersch joined the European F3 field with Van Amersfoort Racing halfway through last season and acquitted herself well, despite a lack of seat time. Her immediate future appeared slightly uncertain after being left with a spinal fracture following a spectacular accident in Macau but it has now been revealed that she’ll be returning to the championship next year.
Despite her injuries, Floersch is aiming high and hoping to get back behind the wheel soon with the news that the 18-year-old will continue to race for VAR in Formula European Masters next year:
“When I watched the video of my accident for the first time it felt somewhat surreal. I know that I was lucky and am thankful that the Dallara is such a safe car. I already may begin with gentle training and hope that I will be able to get into the cockpit of my racing car, in spring.
“If my rehabilitation runs as planned and I won’t enter the season with leeway it’s my goal to regularly make it to the top five and secure a win, every now and then.
The season begins in May and while seeing Floersch on the grid then could be a long shot, it’s incredible that she’s likely to race at all considering how it looked at the time of her accident. Team boss Frits van Amersfoort was also full of praise for Sophia, adding:
“Despite having joined the 2018 season late she did a really good job. Nonetheless, there still are things she can learn in the Formula European Masters. But she also will make use of her experience to regularly try to battle it out for top -10 positions.
“We are delighted that Sophia will keep on racing for us as she’s a real asset to our team with her motivation. As soon as she has fully recovered we will have a car ready for her.”
Although Floersch is returning to the same team and the same championship, the FIA’s junior series restructure has brought about a name change. With GP3 becoming International F3 and a new regional F3 series being created in Europe, the old European F3 - which will run the same cars next season - has had to change names and will be known as Formula European Masters instead.
Running as part of the DTM package it means the series will miss out on rounds at Silverstone, Spa, and Pau, but will get to visit the likes of Brands Hatch and Zolder, as well as continue with the always-entertaining round at the Norisring. And despite its lack of official F3 status, champions of the series will receive the same number of super licence points as other regional F3 series, proving just how highly-rated the series was - and will continue to be.
Top image (c) FIA F3