In two memorable days at the end of October, Stefan was invited to join the ranks of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Stars, and then enjoyed the experience of testing a Formula 3 car for the first time.

The Rising Star scheme is for promising young drivers and offers support and mentoring, coupled with the prestige of being under the umbrella of the BRDC. Membership is limited to 40 at any one time and is by invitation only, with potential candidates being chosen by a team of BRDC scouts and then interviewed by a special panel. Stefan visited the Club's home at Silverstone for his interview and shortly afterwards received his invitation to become a Rising Star.

"It's a real honour to be invited into the BRDC, one of the most prestigious motor-racing clubs in the world," said Stefan, "especially at only 18 years old and after my first year in single-seaters. This also gives me an extra boost of confidence for the evaluation for the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award."

The Award evaluation takes place later in November and will see Stefan driving three different cars, including a World Series by Renault single-seater. With his experience so far limited to Formula Palmer Audi, the chance to test the more advanced Formula 3 car came at just the right moment. Stefan spent a day at Snetterton with Carlin Motorsport, the most successful team in British F3, and was very impressed.

"Wow!" he said afterwards. "The F3 car was a real step up in performance. It had so much downforce and it was the first car I've driven with substantial grip levels, so it was amazing to go through the Riches corner with only a slight lift off the power. Now I've driven a car with real downforce I'm eager to do it again."

The F3 test was a reward for finishing second in this year's Formula Palmer Audi championship, and Stefan expressed his appreciation: "I would like to thank Jonathan [Palmer] for providing this fantastic opportunity, and of course Trevor Carlin and all his team for an excellent day."