Team Goddard's two-pronged assault on the F3 championships in Australia and Asia took a step forward with confirmation that rookie Sho Hanawa had signed up for the former.

The 20-year old Japanese driver has been testing with the team and setting competitive lap times around both Sepang and Mallala, belying his lack of F3 experience. Hanawa has three partial seasons in UK Formula Renault behind him, but impressed the team with his speed in the Dallara-Mercedes, boosting confidence that he will be at the sharp end of the grid at the first race of the season, despite the Australian F3 series gaining in strength from year to year.

"We know it is going to be challenge to win in Australia because it is a very hard-fought championship, but we are confident that we will be competitive this season with Sho behind the wheel," team boss Mark Goddard commented.

The team will return to testing at Mallala over 12-13 March prior to the first event, the Clipsal 500 street race in Adelaide over 19-22 March, when Goddard hopes to double the strength of his squad. Although wishing to remain anonymous until their deals are finalised, several drivers have taken the opportunity to get miles under their belt at Sepang.

"Ideally, we would like to run two drivers and we hope that we can sign a team-mate for Sho prior to the first event," Goddard confirmed.

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