After two seasons in the GB3 Championship, formerly known as the British Formula 3 Championship, West Australian Bart Horsten is now looking to his next challenge in 2022.
Since arriving in the UK with his family at the start of 2019, Horsten has been racing single seaters in that time starting off with one year in British F4 before moving to GB3.
While his original plan was to head to the FIA Formula 3 Championship in 2022, Horsten was unable to find consistent sponsorship, putting that plan on ice.
As he looks to confirm his plans for this year, the 19-year-old does so with the confidence of having had a solid second year in GB3 on paper.
Switching to the highly respected Hitch Grand Prix team at the start of last year, Horsten ended the 24-race season with three podiums, two poles and four fastest laps, which helped him to an outright sixth place finish.
The 2021 season proved to be a tale of two stories as a difficult opening three rounds saw him retire twice and be disqualified once, which ultimately put him on the back foot.
While he was able to recover briefly in the fourth round of the season, courtesy of consecutive poles and two top-five finishes at the famous Spa-Francorchamps, a gruelling three races at the following events halted his momentum.
Horsten didn’t give up though as he found plenty of consistency in the final third of the season and enjoyed points finishes in every race, including podiums at Silverstone and Oulton Park.
Despite just missing out on an outright top five finish, Horsten believed he could have finished higher but was still pleased with the progress that he made during his second season in the championship.
“On a personal level, I was disappointed with the results because I feel like I had the ability to finish second in the championship,” Horsten said.
“Unfortunately, one or two things around the start of the season prevented me from having a real crack but I guess that’s racing. In a championship like this, if you have a poor start, you put yourself on the back foot, which makes it hard.
“With that said, I do think I improved and learned quite a lot throughout the year, both about myself as an individual and as a driver – in fact, I am actually quite proud of the progress I made throughout the year.
“I think what impressed me most was my efforts in qualifying, which has usually been my weakest part and where I would usually let myself down, but to get two poles and end the year as the second fastest qualifier was great.
“And because of that progress, I would say my season highlight was definitely the round at Spa. I had never been to the circuit and we couldn’t get there before the round due to COVID, but to then take my first official career pole during my first visit there and to do it twice was special.
“Also being with Hitech was a unique experience. They are a big successful organisation that has amazing facilities, staff and culture. I had never been with a team that size and I think my improvement happened because of them.”
As for his future, Horsten admits that while it can be a bit uneasy not having locked anything just yet, he is excited for the next chapter.
“It’s been a big few months, especially since I am now living without my family for the first time in my life after they were forced to go home during that time,” Horsten added.
“I am getting more used to it though, I love training and being part of the motorsport community here.
“At this point, I am a free agent and doing lots of research into what my next move is. I am looking at all the different opportunities and weighing up what the right pathway is.
“Anything is open to me which is exciting. I am looking at potentially racing in the UK, Europe or the US and looking at things like GTs or Prototypes or single seaters.
“My goal is to one day be a world champion in some capacity. What kind of category that is in, I am not sure, but it’s definitely my goal.”