Portugal hosts first official GP3 test session of 2012
The long wait is finally over! GP3 seriesTM is back on track in 2012 with the first official test session in Portugal. Testing takes place over two days – 21-22 February at the Estoril circuit and gives teams and drivers their first opportunity to get a feel with the car – the GP3 10 and to integrate within their squad.
The test will feature many new faces and those drivers will be getting behind the wheel of a GP3 car for the very first time. This test in Estoril is one of three pre-season tests, with Barcelona and Silverstone to come over the next two months before the season commences.
Reigning Champions and newly named Lotus GP will be the team everyone will be watching. Their two confirmed drivers of Daniel Abt and Aaro Vaino will be in the car, along with American Conor Daly. Abt joins the GP3 Series highly rated and will be one of the newcomers keen to make a positive first impression.
New to the series for 2012 are Trident Racing, who will field four drivers over the two days including the recently announced, Vicky Piria. The young Italian will become the first female driver in the history of the Series. Trident have only revealed Piria so far as part of their line-up, so will be using the test as a chance to evaluate potential drivers for the season ahead which begins in Barcelona in May.
MW Arden and Marussia Manor Racing will be using their confirmed driver line ups, whilst Status Grand Prix will have Miki Wekstrom (making his debut in a GP3 car) and the experienced Alexander Sims testing the car alongside Marlon Stockinger, the latter having already signed for 2012 with the Irish squad.
Tech 1 Racing have one representative with Robert Cregan behind the wheel – who will also be making his debut. Jenzer Motorsport will be led by their new Romanian driver, Robert Visoiu, with Patric Niederhauser and Mateo Tuscher also testing for the Swiss team.
Carlin Racing’s Alex Brundle will be making his maiden appearance for the British team, with Antonio Felix Da Costa and William Buller also sharing the time in the car. Atech CRS GP will have Ethan Ringel (already confirmed) and Tamas Pal Kiss testing.
Thirteen drivers who will be testing already have their contract with GP3 for the coming year, with eleven drivers on show who will want showcase their ability in their hopes of landing a seat for the season. Warm temperatures are predicted at the coastal venue.
Day 1 will be split in the morning session 09-00-12.00 and the afternoon session 14.00-17.00 while Day 2’s afternoon session will be from 13.00 till 16.00.
Please note that RSC Mücke Motorsport will not attend this test.
CAR NO. DRIVER LICENSE TEAM NAME
1 Daniel Abt GER LOTUS GP
2 Conor Daly USA LOTUS GP
3 Aaro Vainio FIN LOTUS GP
4 Mitch Evans NZL MW ARDEN
5 David Fumanelli ITA MW ARDEN
6 Matias Laine FIN MW ARDEN
7 Dmitry Suranovich RUS MARUSSIA MANOR RACING
8 Fabiano Machado BRA MARUSSIA MANOR RACING
9 Tio Ellinas CYP MARUSSIA MANOR RACING
14 Marlon Stockinger PHI STATUS GRAND PRIX
15 Alexander Sims GBR STATUS GRAND PRIX
16 Miki Weckstrom FIN STATUS GRAND PRIX
17 Robert Cregan IRL TECH 1 RACING
18 TBA TECH 1 RACING
19 TBA TECH 1 RACING
20 Robert Visoiu ROM JENZER MOTORSPORT
21 Patric Niederhauser SUI JENZER MOTORSPORT
22 Mateo Tuscher SUI JENZER MOTORSPORT
23 Vicky Piria ITA TRIDENT RACING
24 Antonio Spavone ITA TRIDENT RACING
25 Nico Muller SUI TRIDENT RACING
26 Alex Brundle GBR CARLIN
27 Antonio Felix Da Costa POR CARLIN
28 William Buller GBR CARLIN
29 Tamas Pal Kiss HUN ATECH CRS GP
30 TBA ATECH CRS GP
31 Ethan Ringel USA ATECH CRS GP
source: GP3 Series