Hitech GP has confirmed Red Bull Junior Team driver Souta Arao in its line-up for the 2023 GB3 Championship season. The 17-year-old Japanese racer, who is also a member of Honda’s junior programme, most recently competed in the French F4 Championship in 2022, winning three races and taking seven additional podium finishes on his way to third overall. His victories came with impressive drives at Pau, Spa-Francorchamps and Paul Ricard in his first season of single-seater racing.
Prior to his F4 debut, Arao was the winner of the Suzuka Racing School Formula scholarship, having been selected by former F1 driver and double Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato and fellow ex F1 racer Shinji Nakano as the best performer.
He was also a leading contender in the Japanese Karting Championship, finishing as runner-up in 2021, with his performances leading him to be signed into the Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP) from the 2022 season onwards. He now graduates to GB3 with reigning team champion Hitech GP, who also claimed the driver’s honours with Luke Browning in 2022.
Souta Arao said: “I am delighted to be competing in GB3 this season. Both GB3 and Hitech GP have a long history, and I’m really looking forward to a year of racing in such a great environment! My participation would not be possible without the support of Honda and Red Bull, and I look forward to working hard with the team from the first GB3 tests."
Hitech GP are running four Red Bull Junior Team drivers across their Formula 2, Formula 3 and GB3 campaigns this year, with Isack Hadjar and Jak Crawford in F2, and Sebastian Montoya in F3 in addition to Arao's GB3 efforts.
Team Principal Oliver Oakes said: ”We are proud to continue our relationship with Red Bull for another season. It will see us bring two exciting talents, Jak and Isack, to the FIA F2 grid, who have proven themselves with strong results in F3. We are delighted to see Montoya step up to FIA F3 after testing with us last November in Jerez, alongside French F4 race-winner Arao who has had some promising results as he joins the GB3 grid. It's an exciting pool of drivers and we look forward to fighting for victories on track."
For more championship information visit www.gb-3.net.