Virgin Racing team boss John Booth has announced the launch of the Manor Racing GP3 team.

The outfit has been created as part of Virgin Racing's new driver development initiative - and the leading Manor driver in the inaugural GP3 Series this season will get a test with the F1 team.

"Manor GP3 is a terrific opportunity for potential stars of the future to climb the Virgin Racing ladder," said Booth, founder of Virgin Racing - previously Manor Grand Prix until it was re-branded at the end of last year.

"Our objective has been to achieve a budget for the series that is not only extremely competitive, but which also offers our drivers the added benefit of the Manor driver development blueprint and integration with the F1 team.

"In addition to receiving fantastic support from our highly experienced race team professionals, Manor GP3 will occupy the same race shop facilities as the Virgin Racing F1 team, have access to the simulator programme operated by Wirth Research, and run in support of European rounds of the 2010 F1 calendar.

"The icing on the cake is the fantastic prize of an F1 test with Virgin Racing for the most successful Manor GP3 driver."

The GP3 Series is brand new for 2010 and will run alongside the GP2 Championship with the inaugural race scheduled for the Spanish Grand Prix weekend in May.

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