A successful first shakedown of the new GP3 car, at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France, marked the latest step along the road towards the creation of GP2's own feeder series.

The performance and reliability test of the Dallara chassis, powered by a two-litre turbo-charged Renault engine and running on Pirelli slicks, passed off without problem under blue skies on the HTTT's 3D track configuration with current GP2 championship leader Romain Grosjean at the wheel.

"I'm very glad to have had this first taste of the GP3 car," the Frenchman commented, "We have had a productive day with very few small problems and many good surprises, namely in terms of speed. I have been impressed by the level of reliability of the car for a first run.

"This is a great car! It's really fun to drive and the level of downforce is already quite impressive, although we still need to determine which one will be used. Compared to a F3, the acceleration is better and speed in fast corners is similar. One thing for sure: the GP3 car will be notably fast! Now that I've seen and tested the competitiveness of this new car, I'm really looking forward to watching the races - they should be very interesting and fun to follow!"

GP3 Series organiser Bruno Michel was equally delighted with the shakedown, before turning his attentions back to the finer details of the launching the championship.

"I am very pleased to say that the GP3 Series is well on track and the development is on time," he enthused, "Today's successful test run showed our car's strong
potential, and we gathered enough data to keep improving the performance and the reliability of the GP3 car. I am confident that it will become the perfect piece of machinery that will reveal a young driver's skills while providing a safe and exciting show.

"Meanwhile, we are carefully assessing the costs of a season in our new series, and we will communicate them over the coming weeks to the many teams from all around the motor racing world that have already expressed their interest in [GP3]. As previously announced, the entry selection process will take place next September,
with the first official test session for the selected teams taking place next March."

GP3 will kick off next year and will run alongside the GP2 Series in Europe.