American-Spanish racer Brad Benavides will make his Formula 3 debut with Carlin in 2022, becoming the side’s second signing along with fellow rookie Zak O’Sullivan.

The 20-year-old, who was born in Florida, spent the first half of last season in the Formula Regional European Championship, before switching to Euroformula Open in the second half of the year, where he finished in the top 10 in eight out of his nine races with Carlin.

The British team ran then ran him in their F3 machinery on Days 1 and 3 of post-season testing at Valencia, where he impressed enough to earn a deal.

“I’ve been a die-hard fan of racing my whole life, and I now have in my hands the greatest opportunity I’ve ever had,” said Benavides. “I feel like, at the same time, my greatest achievements are closer than ever. I am going to give my maximum effort this season and make it one to be proud of.”

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Benavides ran for Carlin at post-season testing in Valencia
Benavides ran for Carlin at post-season testing in Valencia

The American-born racer made his single-seater debut at the end of 2018, in the final two races of the Euroformula Open Championship at Barcelona, before opting to run in Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019.

After a year out in 2020, Benavides returned to Europe with a seat in Formula Regional European for 2021.

Racing Director Trevor Carlin added: “Brad is still a very young driver at the start of his career. Making the step up to FIA F3 in only his second season in Europe will be a big learning curve but Brad has a fantastic attitude both in and out of the car.

“We’re delighted he has chosen to stay with the team for this next step in his career and we can’t wait to get started with testing later next month in Bahrain.”