Portuguese team Ocean Racing Technology have confirmed that Nigel Melker will be one of their two drivers in the GP2 championship in 2012.
The 20-year-old Dutch driver said that he was "delighted to be part of the Ocean. The team has high ambitions for next season and I believe to be in a position to help. I have to thank [team co-managers] Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes for believing in my potential. I'll do my best!"
Dutchman Nigel Melker finished in third place in this year's GP3 championship with victory in the season opener and five podiums during the season with Mucke Motorsport, while also competing for the team in the F3 Euro Series where he finished fourth before taking part in the post-season GP2 test sessions with Arden at Jerez and with iSport and Ocean at Barcelona.
"Nigel has had a remarkable season in GP3 and F3," said team principals Monteiro and Guedes. "In the tests we carried with us proved to be very professional but also very competitive with our car on the track. The relationship with the entire coaching staff was also very good, and therefore, we believe that together we can achieve the objectives set for the next season."
Melker made his GP2 race début at the non-championship GP2 Final event in Abu Dhabi last month racing for DAMS, although he was unable to finish in the points in either the feature or sprint races that weekend.
"Nigel has shown that he can be very strong, and despite being a 'rookie' in GP2 he adapted quickly to the team and our car," said Monteiro and Guedes. "For us it is also a source of pride that we have secured his services for Ocean, as many top teams were interested in hiring him."
Ocean are yet to announce who will be driving alongside Melker in the team's second car, but say that they are in advanced negotiations with a second driver.
The 2012 GP2 activity will start with pre-season testing in Jerez on february 28 and March 1. The 2012 race calendar is yet to be unveiled.