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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.]
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) in action at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) celebrates in parc ferme after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) celebrates on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport), Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrate on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) in Parc Ferme after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates in Parc Ferme after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates with champagne on the podium after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Photo: Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International), Dean Stoneman (GBR, Koiranen GP) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) on the podium after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) & Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) on the feature race podium at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) in action at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates win with his father Jonathan at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014.(Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates victory at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Newly-crowned 2014 GP2 Series Champion Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in Parc Ferme at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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