Rising Canadian star Robert Wickens is joining the Status Grand Prix team’s driver line-up for this week’s first-ever test for the GP3 Series, the new single-seater championship which will run on the support-race bill at Formula One™ Grands Prix across Europe in 2010.
With the series for 280hp Renault-powered Dallara cars under the gaze of F1’s decision makers, Wickens has targeted GP3 as his next step towards his goal of becoming Canada’s new F1 star. For the two-day test at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit in southern France on 4th and 5th March, he will drive with Status Grand Prix, the team with which he enjoyed much success racing under the A1 Team Canada banner in 2007-08, when he became the youngest ever winner of an A1GP World Cup of Motorsport race.
“I’m really pumped up to have got the opportunity to be part of the GP3 Series as it gets underway,” said Wickens, a native of Toronto, ON. “It’s great to be reunited with the Status GP guys, and GP3 is where I want to be. For this test I just have to concentrate on doing a good job and gathering as much information as possible about this new car, but this series is going to have a big impact and it’s where I want to be in 2010.”
The 20-year-old, who last year finished second in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, has secured backing to drive in the test from British Columbia-based Sitka, an independent surfboard and clothing manufacturer.
“I’m very grateful to Sitka for having faith in me to get my season started,” he said. “I still need more sponsorship dollars, but the interest in Canada is growing all the time and I’m confident there are more partners like Sitka out there which will make it all possible.”
The 16-race GP3 Series is organized by Bruno Michel, the boss of established F1 feeder formula the GP2 Series, in conjunction with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. It is designed to identify the F1 stars of the future, and will feature at seven Grands Prix events, as well as stand-alone event in Portimao, Portugal alongside GP2.
This week’s test is the first of three two-day test sessions before the first GP3 Series event at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on May 7th-9th.
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