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Ocean Racing quits, Hilmer joins Series

16 January 2013

Ocean Racing Technology has confirmed that it is following Scuderia Coloni out of the GP2 Series and will not be participating in the feeder series in 2013.

“We are sad to announce that our team was forced to stop its activity in GP2 and GP3 due to financial difficulties caused by the lack of payment from our partners Parkalgar and the Portuguese Government," said Ocean Racing Technology team managers Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes in a statement released by the team

"We enjoyed the short time we were in both Series', we had a great time with success achieving wins and podiums, but unfortunately we cannot sustain our activity in these conditions," they added. "We want to thank everyone for their support during those four years: fans, friends, employees, GP2, drivers and competitors."

Last year, Nigel Melker led the team's campaign with Jon Lancaster, Brendon Hartley and Victor Guerin taking the second seat over the course of the season. Ocean finished the year in 11th position out of the 13 teams competing in the team championship, with 26pts.

"I would like to thank Tiago Monteiro and everyone involved in his team for their work and dedication for the past four seasons," said GP2 CEO Bruno Michel in response.

Ocean's spot on the 2013 GP2 grid will be taken by German team Hilmer Motorsport, Michel announced on Wednesday, making it the second new team making its debut this season after MP Motorsport was earlier announced as taking over the spot formerly held by Scuderia Coloni until the end of 2012. (See separate story.)

“I am pleased to welcome Hilmer Motorsport to our category. It is the first time since the Series' inception that we will have a German team in our field."

Hilmer will need to work fast to get ready for the first GP2 activity of the year, as the pre-season test sessions are scheduled for February 26-28 at Jerez in Spain, but Michel expressed confidence that the team would be ready in time despite their late start.

"They are already hard at work to be ready and competitive from the first pre-season test session next month in Jerez," he said. "I am sure that they will be a great addition to our grid."

"We are currently working on putting together a strong team of highly experienced professionals in order to be ready for the first challenge of the season," said Hilmer Motorsport team principal Franz Hilmer.

"“We are delighted that Hilmer Motorsport will participate to the prestigious GP2 Series. I would like to thank Bruno Michel for his support," Hilmer added.

As for Ocean Racing Technology, team managers Monteiro and Guedes said that they hoped to return to the series at a later date once their financial issues had been taken care of.

"We sure hope to be back once these problems are solved, and in the meantime we wish a successful experience to Hilmer Motorsport and a great season to GP2 and our competitors," they said in a statement.


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