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April 2015

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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 iRacing.com World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden
    Contributor

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon iRacing.com and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel
    Contributor

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • David Moulthrop
    NASCAR Contributor

    David Moulthrop is an award winning motorsports photo journalist and has covered auto racing since the mid-seventies. While he is most well known for his NASCARimages he has also covered F1, American Road Racing, and IndyCar on a regular basis. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and online news sites including, National Speed Sport News, Area Auto Racing News, Auto Racing USA, Stock Car Magazine, Sprint Cup Dateline, and Jayski. David joined the iRacing team in 2004 as a contract photographer and became iRacing's Laser Scan Project Manager in 2005.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Varhaug tops final GP3 test

April 23rd, 2015

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Jenzer Motorsport driver Pal Varhaug led the way on the final day of GP3 pre-season testing at Barcelona. The Norwegian won the inaugural GP3 race at the Circuit De Catalunya almost five years ago, and returned to the class last year following three seasons away. After setting the second-fastest time on the opening day behind Jann Mardenborough, Varhaug topped both sessions on Thursday. Set an hour into proceedings, Varhaug’s 1m34.687s was 0.384 seconds faster than his closest challenger in the morning, Luca Ghiotto. Lotus Formula 1 junior Esteban Ocon was third, ahead of Matheo Tuscher, Mardenborough, Ralph Boschung, Alex Palou and Marvin Kirchhofer, as one second covered the top 12 drivers. Varhaug also set the pace in the afternoon, his 1m37.277s lap indicative of the slower session as teams focused [...]

Mardenborough starts final test on top

April 22nd, 2015

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Jann Mardenborough was quickest for Carlin as GP3 testing resumed at Barcelona on Wednesday. The Nissan GT Academy graduate’s early morning pace of 1m34.910s proved unbeatable through the day, as he topped the opening session by a tenth of a second over series veteran Pal Varhaug. Jenzer driver was just 0.001s faster than Marvin Kirchhofer in third place, with the German’s ART team-mate Esteban Ocon behind Ralph Boschung and Jimmy Eriksson in sixth. The afternoon session was disrupted by a rain shower that limited teams’ running. Seb Morris completed twice as many laps as most and got down to a 1m35.740s for Status to lead the way. Mardenborough was again on the pace, going second quickest – just over a tenth slower. It was an all-British top three, as Matt [...]

Palou tops GP3 testing for Campos

April 10th, 2015

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Campos Racing’s Alex Palou finished GP3′s second pre-season test at Valencia on top, edging out Marvin Kirchhofer. After leading the morning session on Thursday’s opening day of running, the Spaniard was quick out of the blocks again on Friday. With the fastest times set in the opening hour before teams reverted to race simulations, Palou was the first driver into the 1m21s bracket with a 1m20.880s. While day one pacesetter Kirchhofer was quick to respond with a time just 0.012 seconds adrift, Palou’s effort would remain the best of the morning and indeed the day at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. Kirchhofer’s ART team-mate, reigning European Formula 3 champion Esteban Ocon was third-fastest and exactly one tenth off Palou. Deputising for Lotus F1 reserve driver Adderly Fong at Koiranen, Kevin Korjus [...]

Kirchhofer leads Valencia GP3 test

April 9th, 2015

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Marvin Kirchhofer set the pace for ART Grand Prix on day one of this week’s GP3 Series test at Valencia. The highest-placed championship returnee in the field after finishing third behind Alex Lynn and Dean Stoneman last year, Kirchhofer’s 1m21.098s lap in the afternoon put him two tenths clear of Luca Ghiotto. Italian Ghiotto is back for a full season with Trident having taken a shock pole on his GP3 debut at Spa in 2014 during a two-round cameo. Teenage Spanish rookie Alex Palou (pictured below), a Euroformula Open graduate, showed strongly as he led the morning session and took fourth in the afternoon for Campos Racing’s new GP3 arm. Kirchhofer’s European Formula 3 champion team-mate Esteban Ocon was in the top three in both sessions – second between Palou [...]

Boschung tops day two of Estoril test

March 19th, 2015

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Jenzer Motorsport driver Ralph Boschung led the way on the final day of GP3′s opening pre-season test at Estoril. The 17-year-old Swiss driver set his 1m27.789s lap midway through the morning session, which was dry, unlike the first day’s action on Wednesday. On his 21st birthday, Arden’s Marvin Kirchhofer was Boschung’s closest challenger, almost two-tenths adrift, while Emil Bernstorff, Jimmy Eriksson and day one pacesetter Antonio Fuoco completed the top five. Fuoco’s Carlin team-mate Mitchell Gilbert was sixth fastest, before topping the afternoon session. In warmer conditions, Gilbert’s 1m28.517s was 0.728 seconds off the morning benchmark, but still good enough to lead Matheo Tuscher, Bernstorff, Pal Varhaug and Boschung. Confirmed by Carlin as its third driver on the eve of the test, Jann Mardenborough was eighth in the morning and [...]

Ferrari man Fuoco leads GP3 test

March 18th, 2015

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Ferrari protege Antonio Fuoco topped the GP3 Series’ first day of 2015 pre-season testing for Carlin at Estoril. The GP3 newcomer, fifth in last year’s Formula 3 European Championship, edged out ART’s Marvin Kirchhofer and Arden’s Emil Bernstorff on the timesheets, the trio split by just 0.023 seconds with laps set during the afternoon session. Overnight rain led to a slow start to the morning while the circuit dried, with the hour before lunch providing the only meaningful running. With 10 minutes remaining, Trident’s Oscar Tunjo went fastest with a 1m29.061s. It remained the morning’s best, ahead of Alex Fontana, Luca Ghiotto, newly-confirmed Carlin recruit Jann Mardenborough, Jimmy Eriksson and Esteban Ocon. Fuoco was 15th of the 23 runners in the first session, but was the first to break into [...]

Mardenborough continues GP3 campaign

March 18th, 2015

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Jann Mardenborough will combine his Nissan LMP1 programme with GP3 in 2015, announcing a move to Carlin as pre-season testing kicked off at Estoril. The GT Academy winner was ninth in the 2014 GP3 standings with Arden, having won the reversed-grid race at Hockenheim. For his second season in series, he reunites with Carlin, with which he tackled the Formula 3 European Championship in 2013. “It’s great to go back to Carlin for GP3,” the 23-year-old said. “I made my single-seater debut with them and they are a very professional outfit. “I want to be a winner so I’m going to be using what I learnt last year to improve my performance and to challenge for podiums and lots of points. “I was thinking at the start of the year [...]

No Manor replacement in GP3 for 2015

March 17th, 2015

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Manor’s GP3 team will not be replaced in the championship for 2015, series bosses have announced. The team fell by the wayside following the Marussia Formula 1 team’s fall into administration towards the end of 2014, and it was left off of a provisional 2015 entry list before Christmas. However, on the eve of the series’ first pre-season test of 2015, championship boss Bruno Michel confirmed that Manor will not be replaced, for this year, but the series will return to nine teams for 2016. “In spite of numerous requests from teams to join the GP3 field, we were unable to give a new entry for this season as the Manor Marussia Racing cars remain in administration,” he said. “I could not ask for a new team to buy three [...]

Tunjo moves from FR3.5 to GP3

March 16th, 2015

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Ex-Formula Renault 3.5 racer Oscar Tunjo will switch to GP3 for 2015, completing Trident’s three-car line-up. The Colombian recently pulled out of a multi-year deal with the Pons team in Formula Renault 3.5, citing budget problems. He will instead race in the cheaper GP3 series, where he joins fellow FR3.5 convert Luca Ghiotto and Artur Janosz at Trident. “After the agreement I signed with Trident, I’m very motivated,” said Tunjo. “It’s the next challenge in my professional racing career and I can’t wait to start working hard together with the team. “The goal is to be a regular at the front of the grid and fight for podium finishes and wins.” Team boss Giacomo Ricci added: “I’m delighted to have reached an agreement with Oscar, completing the driver line-up of [...]

Bernstorff switches to Arden in GP3

March 16th, 2015

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Arden International has completed its 2015 GP3 driver line-up, with Emil Bernstorff switching from Carlin for his second season in the series. The British driver was fifth as a rookie in 2014, taking five podiums including a reversed-grid race victory in Austria. “I am very happy and excited to be racing with Arden this year – a great team with a great history of success,” the 21-year-old said. “When I tested with them in Abu Dhabi 2013, I immediately liked both the car and the atmosphere within the team. “This feeling has grown stronger over the last few weeks with pre-season preparations at the workshop. “The clear objective for us this year is to build on the momentum and experience gathered last year and to have a strong run at [...]

Ocon completes ART GP3 move

March 11th, 2015

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Formula 3 European champion Esteban Ocon will move across to the GP3 Series with multiple champion team ART for 2015. The 18-year-old Frenchman, who won European F3 at the first attempt last year, joins GP3 returnees Marvin Kirchhofer and Alfonso Celis Jr in ART’s line-up. “I am very pleased to contest GP3 with ART Grand Prix because it’s the project that I wanted to happen the most,” he said. “After a great season in 2014 and given the experience and the team’s track record, my ambition is to repeat this in 2015 and win the title. “There are a few question marks because I have not yet tried out the car, but ART Grand Prix has all the skills, data and talent to allow me to have such high ambitions.” [...]

Stuvik seals Status GP3 switch

March 10th, 2015

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EuroFormula Open champion Sandy Stuvik will move into the GP3 Series for 2015 with Status Grand Prix. The 19-year-old Thai driver dominated the series formerly known as the European F3 Open last season, taking 11 wins from 16 races. He tested GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 machinery over the winter, but has chosen GP3 for his next move. “I’m elated to be racing in the GP3 Series this season with Status GP,” he said. “It’s clear that this is a team that’s going above and beyond to ensure that absolutely every tiny detail is perfect. “After their strong season last year in the series I hope I can learn as much as possible about the car and bring myself up to a competitive speed.” Stuvik completes Status’s line-up alongside ex-ART [...]

Morris joins Status for GP3 move

March 9th, 2015

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Two-time McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award finalist Seb Morris will graduate to the GP3 Series in 2015 with the race-winning Status Grand Prix team. Morris, 19, finished third in the Formula Renault Northern European Cup last season with two victories and tested with Status in the end-of-year GP3 test in Abu Dhabi. “I always wanted to be in GP3 this year with Status, the team wanted me as well so it’s fantastic we’ve put the deal together,” said Morris. “I definitely feel ready for GP3 and I believe I can compete with the best, I wouldn’t be out there if I didn’t feel that. “Status was always the obvious choice, everyone bonded quickly when I tested last November and the atmosphere instantly clicked.” Morris, whose NEC campaign was his first outside [...]

Kirchhofer stays in GP3 with ART

March 6th, 2015

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ART has confirmed that Marvin Kirchhofer will remain in its GP3 line-up for 2015, as predicted by AUTOSPORT earlier this week, and expects him to be a leading title contender. Kirchhofer will combine his title bid in the Formula 1-supporting series with a European Formula 3 programme with EuroInternational. The 20-year-old German was third in GP3 last season, winning in his home event at Hockenheim, having claimed the ADAC Formula Masters and German F3 titles in the preceding two seasons. ART had already signed Alfonso Celis Jr for its 2015 GP3 line-up, and AUTOSPORT understands that European F3 champion Esteban Ocon is a prime candidate for the remaining seat. Team manager Sebastien Philippe said: “He is a quick and complete driver who has thrilled the team with his talent and [...]

Jenzer signs Swiss teens for GP3

March 6th, 2015

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Matheo Tuscher will stay with Jenzer Motorsport for a second season of GP3 in 2015, joined by fellow Swiss teenager Ralph Boschung. Tuscher made headlines in 2012 when he jumped straight into the now-defunct Formula 2 series as a 15-year-old and was an immediate frontrunner, ending up second in the championship. His career subsequently lost momentum, with just one Formula Renault 3.5 appearance in 2013 before he moved to GP3 with Jenzer last year and finished 12th in the standings, taking a solitary podium finish in the reverse-grid leg of the Barcelona season-opener. Boschung moves up to GP3 after two years in Germany’s ADAC Formula Masters series. He also tested for Jenzer’s GP3 team in Abu Dhabi at the end of 2014. Team boss Andreas Jenzer said: “With Matheo and [...]

Parry graduates to GP3 with Koiranen

March 6th, 2015

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Matt Parry, the 2013 McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award winner, will step up to GP3 this season with Koiranen GP. Parry has spent the last two years in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, and will partner Jimmy Eriksson and Adderly Fong with the Finnish squad, for which he tested in 2014′s post-season test. “I originally thought I’d be back for another crack at the Eurocup, this time with Koiranen, but [team manager] Afa [Heikkinen] offered us a very good deal to switch to GP3,” the 21-year-old said. “With a lot of advice already suggesting it was time to move on from Formula Renault, it was an easy decision to make, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of testing myself in a proven F1 feeder series. “Koiranen has shown that it [...]

Ceccon secures Arden GP3 deal

March 4th, 2015

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Kevin Ceccon has secured a 2015 GP3 deal with the Arden team that took Mitch Evans and Daniil Kvyat to the 2012 and ’13 titles. Ceccon first raced in GP3 in 2012, when he moved into the series as reigning Auto GP champion and finished ninth in the standings with Ocean Racing Technology. He has not raced full-time since then, contesting a part-season of GP2 with Trident in 2013 and then rejoining GP3 with Jenzer for the final part of last year. “There are decisive moments in life and this is definitively the case for me,” said the 21-year-old Italian. “It was under the heat of the desert that I found clarity and I shall embrace the heat of this difficult competition with serenity to fight for the 2015 championship. [...]

Fontana moves to Status for 2015

February 24th, 2015

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Alex Fontana has been named as the first of Status Grand Prix’s drivers for the 2015 GP3 season. The 22-year-old makes the switch from ART Grand Prix for his third year in the class, having finished 11th in 2014 with a best result of second in Sochi’s feature race. A race winner in Formula 2 and the 2011 European Formula 3 Open champion, Fontana will run with Status for the first time during Estoril’s official pre-season test on March 18-19. “The 2015 season will be the third year in the GP3 Series for me, therefore I needed a team where I could put all my experience to good use and have a nice environment to work in,” the Swiss-Greek driver said. “For three years I’ve always seen with respect the [...]

Gilbert seals Carlin chance

February 13th, 2015

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Formula 3 European Championship graduate Mitch Gilbert has joined Carlin for his first full season in the GP3 Series. The Twickenham-based, Malaysian-born Australian was a race winner in the German F3 Cup with Performance Racing in 2012 and showed flashes of speed in European F3 with Mucke Motorsport and Fortec Motorsport, but with disappointing results. He switched to GP3 for some late-season races in 2014 with Trident, and now joins Ferrari Driver Academy protege Antonio Fuoco at Carlin. “The last two years haven’t been the best for me,” said 20-year-old Gilbert. “I always felt it was right place wrong time, wrong place right time, and for some reason things just didn’t line up right. “Now I feel like everything is coming together to show everyone what the last two years [...]

Campos announces first GP3 drivers

February 12th, 2015

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Campos Racing has signed Alex Palou (pictured above) and Zaid Ashkanani as the first two drivers for its GP3 Series programme in 2015. Ex-Formula 1 racer Adrian Campos’s team, a winner in GP2, has replaced Hilmer Motorsport in GP3 this year. Palou finished third in EuroFormula Open with Campos last season, and tested Trident and ART’s GP3 cars over the winter. The 17-year-old Spaniard also contested the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix with Fortec and raced in the Silverstone GP track round of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship during 2014, which was his first season out of karts. His 20-year-old Kuwaiti team-mate Ashkanani won the 2013/14 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East title and has limited single-seater experience from a handful of UK Formula Ford and ADAC Formula Masters appearances. [...]