Mitch Evans will follow-up his championship-winning season in GP3 with his maiden campaign in the GP2 Series in 2013 as a driver with Arden International, the team announced on Tuesday.
“We are delighted to have Mitch move up to GP2 and stay with the Arden team," said sporting director Julian Rouse. "We have a great relationship with him, and have seen him grow in the last two years in a Championship that was created to bring great drivers into GP2 Series."
Having claimed three wins, four poles and six podiums on his way to winning the GP3 title with the team in 2012, New Zealand-born Evans was similarly happy with the confirmation that he would be remaining with Arden in 2013 while moving up to their GP2 squad.
"Firstly I'd like the thank Arden for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to drive with them in GP2 after two great years in GP3," said the 18-year-old. "I am hugely grateful for the chance to race in the GP2 series. I have full trust in the team that they will give me the best opportunity to have a successful rookie season. I can not wait for the season to get underway."
Evans will join Johnny Cecotto Jr., who had already been confirmed by the team last week as having clinched a race seat with the squad. Both drivers had spent time with Arden during the four days of post-season testing at Barcelona and Jerez at the end of 2012.
"We tested Mitch at the Barcelona and Jerez tests at the end of last year and were encouraged by his performance, especially as he was in the top ten with drivers who have several years GP2 experience," said Rouse. "Also with everyone at Arden knowing Mitch so well, I am sure we can develop him as a front running GP2 driver very quickly and efficiently.”
Other drivers working with the team in Spain were Auto GP World Series champion Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Swiss driver Simon Trummer. Quaife-Hobbs last week told attendees to the Autosport International Show in Birmingham that he was close to a GP2 deal for 2013 and was optimistic about having something in place before the start of pre-season activities.
Meanwhile, Evan's former GP3 team MW-Arden - which is run by Arden in association with F1 driver Mark Webber - has confirmed its driver line-up for this year's campaign, with 18-year-old Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr. moving from British Formula 3 to race alongside Russia's Daniil Kvyat, who was runner-up in the 2012 Formula Renault Eurocup 2.0. The pair will be joined by Romanian driver Robert Visoiu, with the 16-year-old making a big leap up from Formula Abarth.
In associated news, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series team Arden-Caterham has confirmed that Antonio Felix da Costa will remain with them for the 2013 season. Da Costa finished in fourth place in that championship last year while also clinching third place in the GP3 Series with Carlin, with whom he also went on to win the 2012 Macau Grand Prix Formula Three.