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Ceccon opts for GP3 challenge in 2012

Auto GP champion Kevin Ceccon has opted to move to GP3 in 2012, after signing a deal to drive for series newcomers Ocean Racing Technology.
Italian teenage racing driver Kevin Ceccon is to challenge for the GP3 championship in 2012, after successfully claiming the Auto GP title in 2011.

Ceccon, 18, competed in half of last year's GP2 Series with Scuderia Coloni before opting to drop out at the halfway point in order to focus on his Auto GP campaign, which he narrowly won over Luca Filippi - who replaced Ceccon in GP2 and went on to finish runner-up in that series, too.

"I am very happy to face this challenge of the GP3 Series with Ocean Racing Technology," said Ceccon. "I can't wait to get started in the Silverstone tests, where I will be able to start working with the crew," he said, adding: "I could conceivably finish in the top three of the championship."

Ceccon will line-up alongside new team mates Carmen Jorda and Robert Cregan, both of whom are also GP3 rookies - as is the team itself, having only entered the series over the close-season replacing former GP3 regulars Tech 1.

Tiago Monteiro, Ocean Racing Technology's team manager, was clearly looking at Ceccon to be the senior member of the line-up despite his age.

"Kevin is a very fast, professional driver," said the former F1 and current WTCC driver. "Despite his youth, he has the necessary experience to successfully enter the GP3 Series and to help his two teammates to evolve. It's a great pleasure to be able to count on him."

Other recent driver signings in GP3 include Japanese racer Kotaro Sakurai joining Status Grand Prix alongside Marlon Stöckinger, Antonio Spavone joining Vicky Piria at Trident, Antonio Félix da Costa signing up at Carlin alongside Alex Brundle, and Atech CRS Grand Prix announcing the signing of Tamás Pál Kiss to pair up with Ethan Ringel as two-thirds of their driver line-up for 2012.

17-year-old Sakurai is the reigning British Formula 3 National Class champion and has been spending the past year testing with Status GP. Team manager Teddy Yip said that he had "watched him mature and grow as a driver. It's a great pleasure to welcome him into the team on a full-time basis in the GP3 Series this season."

Italian racing driver Spavone, also 17, is stepping up into GP3 with Trident after spending 2010 competing in the Italian Formula Abarth Championship. "I know there will be plenty of work to do and I'll face some very experienced drivers," he said at the announcement of his signing. "My goal is to clinch a top-10 spot as fast as possible."




Related Pictures

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Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) during the second day of testing at Jerez. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) in pit lane at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Pierre Gasly (FRA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in pit lane at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
The car of Pierre Gasly (FRA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) is retrieved after a first lap accident at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Rio Haryanto (INA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Rio Haryanto (INA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) crosses the line at the end of race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in parc ferme after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in parc ferme after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates with team mate Stephane Richelmi (MON, DAMS) celebrates after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates with his father Jonathan after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Race winner Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & runner-up Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrate with champagne after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) sprays champagne on the podium after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) & Stephane Richelmi (MON, DAMS) on the podium after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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