The long-rumoured exit of Super Nova Racing from the GP2 Series has been confirmed, with the announcement that their spot on the grid will be taken by new entrants Venezuela GP Lazarus in 2012 and 2013.

"We are pleased to welcome Venezuela GP Lazarus to GP2," said series CEO Bruno Michel on Friday. "They are a great addition to our competitive field of thirteen teams."

The Italian squad was founded in 2009 by Tancredi Pagiaro originally to compete in the Euroseries 3000 season before going on to enter the Auto GP series in 2010. Last year Lazarus came second in the Auto GP teams' championship thanks to the efforts of drivers Fabrizio Crestani and Fabio Onidi.

Venezuela GP Lazarus will have little time to get prepared and up to speed before the first official pre-season testing scheduled for Jerez between February 28 and March 1, and the start of the season itself at Sepang in Malaysia on March 24-25 - but Michel was confident they were up to the challenge.

"Tancredi Pagiaro and most of his staff have been involved in GP2 in the past years and I am sure they will be able to be on pace very quickly," said the GP2 chief executive.

"We are very excited to be part of GP2," said Pancredi, thanking the organisers for being handed the vacant slot on the GP2 grid. "We know this will be a big challenge but we are ready for it and cannot wait to get started."

Pagiaro said that he saw the move as a big step in the growth of his young race operation. "This series is the most prestigious and competitive category after F1," he said, adding that he was "proud" that with the help of his Venezuelan sponsors "we have been able to enter the prestigious GP2 Series."

The team will announce its driver line-up for 2012 in due course.

Super Nova Racing had competed in GP2 since the series began in 2005, finishing that maiden season in third place in the team championship which it repeated again at the end of the 2009 series. In 2011 they finished in ninth place, after fielding Fairuz Fauzy for the entire year and replacing Luca Filippi after five weekends with Adam Carroll for sponsorship reasons.

Auto GP announces 2012 calendar and goes global

The Auto GP championship is to be rebranded the Auto GP World Series after unveiling a calendar for 2012 that sees races being held outside Europe and North Africa for the first time.

"What the fans will read in our name is what we are, the only feeder series with a real intercontinental calendar," said series organiser Enzo Coloni, adding that he was proud of being able to present "the only top notch one-make Series that will race in three different continents.

"When I look at the feeder series scenario I see some championships that are using high-sounding names but then, in the real world, can't keep up to their promises," he added.

Auto GP will race alongside WTCC for the whole season, which means the addition of two rounds at the end of the season in Brazil and the USA, although proposed rounds at Donnington Park and Suzuka have been dropped. Television coverage is being organised through Eurosport.

The 2012 Auto GP Word Series season consists of the following races:

March 10- 11 Monza, Italy
March 31 - April 1 Valencia, Spain
April 14-15 Marrakech, Morocco
May 5-6 Budapest, Hungary
June 2-3 Estoril, Portugal
July 21-22 Curitiba, Brazil
August 22-23 Sonoma, USA