Monaco's Stefano Coletti is to return for another season in 2013, after confirming a full-year deal to drive for Rapax next year.
Coletti switched to Rapax for the final two races of 2012 in Monaza and Sinagpore after splitting with Coloni, who in any case are departing the GP2
season following the end of this year's championship after citing disagreements with the series organiser.
That potentially left Colotti without a seat for next year, but his two-weekend stint with Rapax clearly went well and the two parties have agreed to pair up and make a go of it for the title next year.
"This is really a great opportunity for me and I'm looking forward to starting the next season," said the 23-year-old racer. To continue the work done together since the next test in October, after two races with them in the last part of 2012, would represent a fantastic platform to prepare the new season."
Rapax managing director Andrea Bergamini was equally thrilled about the possibilities this gave the team for 2013, after a lacklustre campaign this season that saw them finish in ninth place in the team championship after having an unsettled line-up during the year that started with Tom Dillmann lining up alongside Ricardo Teixeira, before sponsorship problems led to the talented Dillmann being replaced by Daniel de Jong and later by Coletti.
"We're very excited to be able to keep working with someone like Stefano as he's an high-quality driver," said Bergamini. "We followed him since the start of his GP2
Series career and, when the chance to run him in the last two rounds of the 2012 championship came, we decided to go for it. The decision to keep working together for 2013 was a natural consequence of the relationship.
"I'm also really happy with the moment this decision came," he added. "Usually the teams use the autumn tests to evaluate the possible candidates for the following year, [but instead] we will be taking full advantage of the sessions to start some early preparations for the season".
Coletti first appeared in GP2
for two race weekends in 2009 with Durango, and then signed up for a full season at Trident in 2011 that saw him net two race wins but which ended prematurely when a back injury sustained in a racing accident in a wet Spa feature race sidelined him from the season finale at Monza.
Coletti managed only one podium and six other points finishes with Coloni in 2012, and the mutual disenchantment saw them split after this year's Belgian event with Coloni opting to recall their 2011 star Luca Filippi to the fold, while Coletti looked toward next year with the option to move to Rapax.