Racing Steps Foundation's Ben Barnicoat is set to graduate into the FIA European Formula 3 championship with the Hitech GP squad this year.

The two-time McLaren Autosport BRDC award finalist finished fourth in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series, while also claiming the BRDC Formula 4 Autumn Trophy, and impressed the Hitech GP team at a test at Jerez in December.

The 19-year-old is thrilled to secure a full-time drive for 2016 and is raring to go for his rookie Euro F3 campaign.

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"I can't wait to start testing in earnest," Barnicoat said. "It's been a bit of a wait while contractual matters have been sorted but I couldn't be happier. Hitech is a top team which has everything in place to succeed.

"Obviously, I'll be on a steep learning curve and up against a really strong and experienced team-mate in George Russell, but my gut feeling is I'm in exactly the right place to serve my F3 apprenticeship."