Status GP to test Cullen at Jerez and Estoril in preparation for GP3 in 2013

Status Grand Prix is to test Formula Ford graduate Ryan Cullen as he prepares for a planned move into the GP3 Series next season.

The 21-year-old from Somerset, who is sixth in the British Formula Ford Championship, will drive at the four days of official post-season GP3 tests with Status GP – at Jerez in Spain on the 24th and 25th October and Estoril in Portugal on the 6th and 7th November.

Cullen will drive one of the 2012-spec GP3 Series cars with Status GP as the teams in the series all await delivery of the exciting new 400bhp racer that will form the basis of the Formula 1-supporting category from 2013-2015. He has already had a simulator session with the team.

“GP3 is going to be a huge step up for me, but I believe this is the right category for me to move into," said Cullen. “The new car is by all accounts supposed to look and sound fantastic, but I won't be able to find out how good it is on track until I get to drive it. I like the fact that the 2013 series with the new car is looking to reduce the gap between GP3 and GP2, with everyone competing on the same weekends on the European circuits as support races to Formula 1."

“My driver coach is Scott Malvern [the 2011 British Formula Ford Champion]. He tested with Status GP last year and told me what a good team they are, with a strong view on the driver-team relationship. I like the way the team is set up."

Status GP runs under the Irish flag, another factor that appeals to Cullen due to his heritage.

“It’s obviously a bonus as my dad is Irish," he said, “but more important for me as a driver is how Status GP operates as a team. I’m really looking forward to the tests."

Status GP commercial director Tim Scott said: "Status GP is looking forward to working with Ryan through the autumn. He has learnt quickly in Formula Ford, and has an excellent plan for his progression for the off-season. He has a very good approach, has shown well on our GP3 simulator, and over four days has a really good opportunity to fully adapt to slicks and wings in the build-up to 2013."

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