26 October 2012
Teams assemble drivers for Barcelona test
The GP2 teams are getting their driver line-ups sorted out ahead of next week's two-day test session at Barcelona, the first of two such post-season outings for the feeder series.
The GP2 teams are heading to the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona in Spain, for the first of two two-day post-season test sessions which takes place on October 30-31.
The teams will have a double agenda for the session, with a head-start on preparations for the 2013 season every bit as important as trying out potential new drivers from the next generation of aspiring motorsport talent.
Rapax have addressed this by announcing a line-up headed by their newly confirmed 2013 lead driver Stefano Coletti, who will be joined at Barcelona by the newly crowned Formula 3 Euro Series champion Daniel Juncadella. The 21-year-old Spaniard won the title at the Hockenheim ring, and also claimed the prestigious European Formula 3 Championship which ran to an off-sync schedule.
Meanwhile, iSport have announced that they will be trying out Argentina's Facu Regalia - a graduate of Formula BMW, Italian Formula 3 and European Formula 3 who has also made race starts in GP3 and the Auto GP World Series - on the Tuesday, with Pal Varhaug taking over on the Wednesday. The Norwegian has previously raced in GP2 with the DAMS team in 2011 alongside Romain Grosjean, but subsequently lost his race seat and opted to move into Auto GP with the Virtuosi UK team, with whom he claimed the runner-up position in 2012.
"Pal has previous GP2 experience, so we expect him to be comfortable quite early, while Facu will be new to GP2 and will take a little more time to get settled," explained team principal Paul Jackson, who explained that the two would be running at Barcelona alongside Jolyon Palmer, the team's confirmed driver for 2013.
"This test will let us see how these two young drivers shape up against Jolyon," he said. “It is always interesting when you have new drivers in the team, to see how they work with the engineers and how you can help them develop."
After his outing with iSport, Regalia will be spending the second day of the two-day test at Barcelona with Racing Engineering, who will be fielding four different drivers in total. Brazilian André Negrão and Canadian Gianmarco Raimondo will take to the track on Tuesday, with Regalia taking over on the Wednesday working alongside Dutchman Nigel Melker, who has just completed his first season in GP2 with Ocean Racing Technology.
A native of Sao Paulo in Brazil, 20-year-old Negrão has just completed a second season in Formula Renault 3.5 Series with International Draco Racing. Canadian driver Raimondo, 21, has worked his way up through Formula BMW Americas, Italian Formula 3, Formula 3 Euro Series and currently leads the European Formula 3 Open series with Rp Motorsport having picked up five pole positions, four wins and 11 podiums in the 14 races so far.
Over at Caterham, the team seems to have a firmer idea on who it is looking at for 2013 with Alexander Rossi looking in pole position for a race seat. He will not only work with the team at Barcelona, he will also return for both days of the second post-season test session three weeks later in November at Jerez.
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