The Carlin GP2 team has signed up Alvaro Parente to race the #25 car for them in Valencia this weekend.
He will be the third driver in the car in four weekends of racing, after original selection Mikhail Aleshin drove for the team in Istanbul and Barcelona before being replaced by Oliver Turvey for Monaco. It's thought that problems with Aleshin's sponsorship backing are responsible for him having to drop out of his race deal.
Turvey was selected as the Monaco stand-in based on a successful record in the principality, but it proved to be a difficult weekend with a penalty dropping him to 15th place in the feature race, and eighth place in the sprint race also failing to contribute any points to the team's championship campaign.
Alvaro Parente was also competing at Monaco, standing in for Christian Vietoris at Racing Engineering for a second consecutive race weekend after Vietoris had a heavy crash at the season opener at Istanbul and was sidelined with bad headaches. Vietoris will return to his regular seat this weekend at Valancia.
Parente impressed with a second place finish in the Monaco feature race in Vietoris' place and the 26-year-old Portuguese driver has now been favoured with an outing at Carlin.
"I'm excited to be back with Carlin. I spent three great years with Trevor and the team from 2004 to 2006 [in British Formula Three and Formula Renault 3.5] and it's nice to back, so thanks to the team for giving me this opportunity.
"I'm also really happy to be racing in GP2, it's the category closest to F1 and it's a big challenge for the drivers," he said. "I'm extremely happy and very excited about helping Carlin in their first season in the series."
Team principal Trevor Carlin was happy to have Parente on board. “We have great respect for Alvaro, and know from experience what a talented and quick racing driver he is," Carlin said. "We've shown in the last couple of races what we're capable of as a team and with Max and Alvaro we're expecting to make further progress this weekend in Valencia.”
Parente will partner the team's regular driver Max Chilton, who is looking forward to the weekend in Spain. "Valencia is a great track," Chilton enthused. "It's possible to overtake and it doesn't really feel like a street circuit. It's a one off circuit really, so I'm looking forward to it.”
As well as his GP2 activity, Parente is also a test driver for the new McLaren GT company, a new racing venture combining the expertise of the McLaren Group and CRS Racing.
"I must say a big thank you to McLaren, not only for giving me an opportunity in the McLaren MP4-12C GT3, but also for allowing me to race in GP2," Parente acknowledged this week.