Wickens after GP3 title
Rising Canadian star Robert Wickens has set his sights on becoming the first GP3 Series champion after signing to compete in this year’s series with Status Grand Prix.
Wickens, 21, from Ontario, will compete in the full 16-race Formula One™ support series during his third season racing in Europe, and running under the gaze of F1’s decision makers was a crucial factor in Wickens choosing GP3 as he moves towards his goal of securing a Formula One™ drive.
"GP3 is a very good fit for me because we're at F1 Grands Prix and it'll be a great way to highlight myself and show I'm ready to step to F1 in 2011,” said Wickens, who last year finished runner-up in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.
Wickens drove with Status GP in the inaugural series test at Paul Ricard HTTT with the 280hp Renault-powered Dallara earlier this month, and confirmed that it was the right way to go for him and his sponsors, which include Canadian surf and skateboard clothing manufacturer Sitka.
"Having driven the GP3 car with Status it made me even more eager to find the necessary funding to participate,” said Wickens. “It's been a big effort by many people in Canada, and I'm also very grateful to Status GP for showing faith in me. Together we're targeting nothing less than the championship.”
The move sees him re-united with Silverstone-based Status GP, which ran Wickens in the A1 Team Canada entry during the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, when he became the series’ youngest ever winner on the Durban street circuit.
"It's great to be reunited with the Status GP team,” added Wickens. “It's nice to see familiar faces from Team Canada - we've won together before and we can repeat that success.”
Status GP team manager Simon Cayzer said: “The GP3 Series is a great stepping stone for Robert, and to have him in the team again is a boost for everyone. It’s going to be a very competitive series, but we know just how talented Robert is and he’ll be a contender from the start to finish.”
Wickens joins Russian driver Ivan Lukashevich in Status GP’s driver line-up for the new GP3 Series, and they will again be joined by GMH Motorsport’s Lebanese driver Daniel Morad to complete the three-car team for the second official two-day test at Paul Ricard this week.