Star Mazda champion Conor Daly will join British race team Carlin for the 2011 GP3 Series. Daly makes the move to Europe having dominated the 2010 Star Mazda championship, and will also compete in non-clashing rounds of the Firestone Indy Lights Championship in 2011. The 19 year-old American is the first driver to be announced in Carlin’s 2011 GP3 squad.
Daly, who is sponsored by Mazda as part of the MAZDASPEED Motorsport Development Ladder, dominated the 2010 Star Mazda Championship, taking seven wins from 13 races, and racking up an impressive 12 podiums, 9 pole positions and seven fastest laps. Before racing in Star Mazda, Daly won the prestigious Skip Barber Championship and in 2008 won the British Formula Ford Walter Hayes Trophy.
Daly tested for Carlin in the GP3 post-season tests at Jerez in October last year and impressed the team with his pace, attitude and feedback, despite never having driven the GP3 car before.
Indiana born Daly is the son of former F1 driver Derek Daly. Racing in Europe, Conor will follow in the footsteps of his father, who won the 1977 British F3 Championship before going on to compete in 64 Formula One Grand Prix and later in the CART Series in America.
Commenting on his new team, Daly said, “I’m delighted to be with Carlin in GP3. The team have an amazing reputation in Europe and I know I will be in good hands with them this year. GP3 will be a big challenge; almost all the circuits will be a new experience for me, but I think that with the advice and help of the team I will have all the ingredients I need to challenge for good results from the outset. I’d like to thank Mazda for their continued support in enabling me to race in such a high profile series in Europe.”
Speaking about the team’s newest driver, Trevor Carlin added, “Conor is a very welcome addition to our team in 2011. He has displayed great talent in America and we were extremely impressed with him during GP3 testing last year. This season will be a tough learning curve for him, but he has the ability and attitude to be able to turn whatever challenges he faces this season into success.”
Daly will make his official debut with Carlin at the first GP3 test of the season in Paul Ricard from 3 – 4 March.
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