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Frijns set for three-day GP2 test at Jerez
22 February 2013
Dutch driver Robin Frijns took a step closer to a possible season in the GP2 feeder series with the announcement that he will be one of the two drivers turning out for Trident Racing at next week's pre-season test at the Circuit de Jerez in Spain.
"Today there is some small news coming up!" Frijns teased earlier on Friday on his Twitter feed. Once the news was announced, he added: "Going to test GP2 with Trident next week in Jerez! For 3 days! Looking forward to be back in the car again! Its been too long...."
The 23-year-old was recently signed up by the Sauber F1 team as their third driver for test and development duties, and it's been rumoured for sometime that the team have been looking for a suitable race seat for the World Series by Renault competitor to keep him race-ready and allow him to continue to develop his racing skills.
The GP2 Series, with its strong links to the Grand Prix paddock, would be the ideal championship for him, as demonstrated by new Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez getting his F1 shot after two seasons in GP2 in 2011 and 2012.
It will be Frijns' first taste of GP2 hardware. He's previously opted to stick to BMW and Renault championships, winning the Formula BMW Europe title in 2010 before going on to clinch the 2011 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 title the following year.
In 2012 he found still more title success by winning the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with Fortec Motorsport, in a season that saw him take three wins and four pole positions over the course of 17 races and which persuaded Sauber to call him up to work with the F1 squad in 2013.
At next week's GP2 test, Frijns will be partnered by Nathanael Berthon who comes with more experience in the feeder series after a full season competing with Racing Engineering in 2012. The 23-year-old Frenchman had a fairly typical rookie year in GP2 and finished in 12th place in the drivers standings, with two podium finishes to his name.
In announcing their selection of test drivers for next week's session, Trident Racing did not give any hints as to whether either Frijns or Berthon were in with a real chance of taking a full time race seat for the start of the 2013 GP2 Series season, which gets underway as a support race to the F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia at Sepang International Circuit on March 23-24.
Before that, there will be a second three-day test session for the GP2 teams to be held at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona, Spain between March 5-7.
At the most recent past test sessions - held at the end of last year after the conclusion of the championship in 2012 - Trident tested Marcus Ericsson, Stéphane Richelmi, Julian Leal and Sergio Canamasas. Ericsson and Leal have since signed to race with DAMS, while Leal has taken over Berthon's spot at Racing Engineering.
This will be Berthon's first test opportunity since the end of the 2012 season.
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