Irina Sidorkova joins Evans GP for Asian F3 campaign
Russian W Series newcomer Irina Sidorkova will enter the 2021 Asian Formula 3 with Evans GP in preparation for the all-female championship.
17-year old Irina Sidorkova will join the ranks of Evans GP for the upcoming Asian Formula 3 championship, marking the young Russian's racing debut in F3 machinery.
The SMP Racing-supported driver, in fact, will focus on a winter program in preparation for her W Series rookie campaign - when the all-female F3 championship will finally kick off later this June as a supporting series of Formula 1 at Circuit Paul Ricard, France.
Sidorkova will drive one of the three Tatuus T318 cars from Australian outfit Evans GP, founded by former BlackArts Racing Team Manager Josh Evans.
The cars employed in the Asian regional F3 championship are in fact identical to the W Series vehicles - albeit differing in the supplied tyres - and the winter series has been historically used by top International drivers as a training ground for the upcoming European championships.
Last year, W Series champion Jamie Chadwick also entered Asian F3, taking five podiums and a race victory before the cancellation of the 2020 W Series season as a consequence of the Covid19 pandemic.
After combining a double-program in the Spanish and SMP Russian-based Formula 4 championships in 2019, Irina Sidorkova was selected for the sophomore season of the women-only category, after one single season in formula racing. She would have been the youngest ever entrant at 16 year old.
Sidorkova began her racing career in 2009 with karting and later switched to rallies and touring cars in her native Russia, as she secured support from the prestigious SMP Racing Academy.
In 2020, she made her return to the SMP RSKG Russian touring car championship, as her W Series debut was put on hold for 2021. The young driver was also one of the undisputed stars of the inaugural W Series Esports League, the iRacing-based official eSports championship by W Series. Sidorkova - hardly an experienced sim racer before the world lockdown - impressed by taking race victories and proved to be a natural talent at the simulator. She finished third in the overall classify, behind Beitske Visser and Marta Garcia.
She now joins the Asian Formula 3 Championship with the aim of maximising her track time and, possibly, gain her first FIA Super Licence points.
Five triple-header rounds are planned to take place between Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit and Dubai Autodrome, as the series will compress its schedule to a 5-week calendar in the United Arab Emirates.
“I am very glad that I will compete in Asian Formula 3 for Evans GP Team Oloi,” said the young Russian star.
"Before that, I had never had the opportunity to drive a Formula 3 car, so this will be a new and very difficult challenge for me. Nevertheless, I will be happy to represent Russia and SMP Racing and meet strong drivers at the first stage."
"Of course, it will not be easy at first, but I am sure that with the help of SMP Racing and Evans GP, after the first tests, I will be able to greatly increase my speed. I am looking forward to the start of the championship."
“We are delighted to welcome Irina to the team, we are honored that she will be driving our Formula 3 car,” said Josh Evans, owner of the Evans GP Team Oloi. “She paves the way for Russian motorsport girls and gives us the opportunity to develop her talent. We watched her progress in Spanish Formula 4 and SMP Formula 4, where she proved she could compete with more experienced competitors. We are looking forward to working with her."
You can learn more about this exciting upcoming talent by reading our exclusive interview with Irina Sidorkova from 2020.
Asian Formula 3 Calendar:
January 27 - pre-season tests (Dubai)
Round 1: Dubai Autodrome, January 28-30
Round 2: Abu Dhabi Yas Marina, February 4-6
Round 3: Dubai Autodrome, February 10-12
Round 4: Dubai Autodrome, February 13-14
Round 5: Abu Dhabi Yas Marina, February 18-20