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MP Motorsport completes 2013 driver line-up
21 February 2013
Britain's AutoGP World Series champion Adrian Quaife-Hobbs will race in the GP2 Series in 2013, after being selected as MP Motorsport's second driver.
“I'm delighted to finally be able to announce my plans for 2013, which have been a long time coming,” said the 22-year-old from Tonbridge, Kent.
Quaife-Hobbs will partner Dutch driver Daniël de Jong, previously announced as MP Motorport's first driver signing in November at the same time that the team itself was unveiled as the replacement for the exiting Scuderia Coloni squad on the GP2 grid.
"Signing Adrian to partner Daniel in GP2 really is a great coup for us," said team principal Sander Dorsman. "He's held in very high regard by a lot of people and his performances in Auto GP last year proved what a really talented racer he is."
Quaife-Hobbs tried out with Barwa Addax at last year's post-season test session at Barcelona, and then spent another two days with Arden at Jerez before finally deciding to opt for MP Motorsports for his GP2 début in 2013. Despite the team being as much a rookie in the feeder series as himself, Quaife-Hobbs still has high expectations as to what they can achieve together in their first season.
"Looking ahead to the season, naturally I have to aim to win, as all drivers do, although I appreciate it's going to be a tough challenge," he said. "The competition is always strong in GP2 and I'm sure this year will be no exception.
"I've raced against MP Motorsport in AutoGP and naturally I know many of the personnel who came over from the Coloni team, so I'm looking forward to working with them all again," he continued. “We had a very good finish to 2012, with two strong performances in GP2 testing, so I cannot see why we can't build on those results as we head into the first of two pre-season tests in Spain."
Quaife-Hobbs drove with Manor Racing in two seasons of GP3 in 2010 and 2011 before moving to AutoGP with Super Nova in 2012, where he clinched the championship title with six pole positions, five race wins and four fastest laps in the course of 14 races.
“I'm proud to see Adrian Quaife-Hobbs make such an important step towards F1 right after winning our championship," said AutoGP boss Enzo Coloni. "Former champions Kevin Ceccon and Romain Grosjean had previously made the same move, with the Frenchman cruising to the GP2 title and getting a full-time F1 ride," he pointed out.
"My best wishes go to Adrian, to Daniël De Jong - who will be back for the 2013 AutoGP races fitting into his GP2 schedule - and to MP Motorsport," Coloni added.
Prior to Auto GP, Quaife-Hobbs distinguished himself in various Formula Renault categories as well as Formula BMW UK and Formula Three Euroseries, since his karting début in 2004 led to early success in T Cars in 2005-6.
MP Motorsport itself began life in 1995 competing in the European and Benelux Formula Ford Championships. The team moved into Formula Renault 2.0 in 2003, and after a two-event taster in 2011 the team fully entered the Auto GP World Series Championship in 2012 and duly finished second in the team championship, with de Jong and Chris van der Drift as their drivers.
MP Motorsport will join the other 12 GP2 Series teams for the first pre-season test of 2013 scheduled for February 26-28 at Jerez in Spain.
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