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Russian Time recalls Sam Bird back to GP2

Britain's Sam Bird is to return to the GP2 Series after a year's absence, after signing up with new team Russian Time to race alongside Tom Dillmann.
Russian Time have laid down a marker of their serious intentions for their first season in the GP2 Series by signing up Britain's Sam Bird as their second driver for the 2013 championship.

"I am pleased to announce Sam Bird as our second driver for Russian Time," said team principal Igor Mazepa, who added that Bird's "strong winning attitude is exactly what we need at Russian Time to complete our extremely competitive line-up."

The 26-year-old British driver has previously competed in two seasons of GP2 competition, making his bow with ART in 2010 and then moving to iSport International in 2011. However, he decided not to return to the series in 2012, opting instead for a season in Formula Renault 3.5 in which he finished the season in third place in the standings while also serving as the test and reserve driver for the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team.

"I am delighted to be joining Russian Time for the 2013 GP2 season and grateful to everybody involved, in particular Igor Mazepa, for choosing me for this exceptional opportunity," said Bird this week after the news of his return to the feeder series was announced.

"I look forward to working closely with the team and to helping them achieve their ambition of fighting for the team championship title," Bird added.

Although Russian Time is the newest team on the GP2 grid, having only been announced as joining the series on March 4 after iSport - Bird's former team in GP2 - decided it would have to pull out of the competition because of a shortage of funding sufficient to see out a whole season of racing. Russian Time bought iSport's two GP2/11 Dallara chassis along with much of the old team's infrastructure, equipment and personnel, making it a solid proposition for this year's title despite their late entry.

"I am sure that with the addition of Sam to our team, we will reach our goal which is ambitious as we are aiming at the 2013 title," insisted Mazepa. "As a team, we would like to give Sam our full support and expertise to help bring him at the top of the standings."

Bird will be racing alongside French driver Tom Dillmann, who impressed in the first GP2 pre-season test of 2013 at Jerez and who will be looking for a full season of racing in 2013 after being sidelined halfway through last season while racing with Rapax because of a shortfall in sponsorship funding.

Bird's signing leaves only Trident Racing and Hilmer Motorsport to announce their driver line-ups for the first race of the 2013 GP2 Series season, which begins on Friday with practice and qualifying at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

2013 confirmed driver line-up

DAMS - Marcus Ericsson, Stéphane Richelmi
ART GP (formerly Lotus GP) - James Calado, Daniel Abt
Arden - Johnny Cecotto Jr., Mitch Evans
Racing Engineering - Julian Leal, Fabio Leimer
Carlin - Felipe Nasr, Jolyon Palmer
Russian Time - Sam Bird, Tom Dillmann
Caterham Racing - Ma Qing Hua, Sergio Canamasas
Barwa Addx - Jake Rosenzweig, Rio Haryanto
Rapax - Stefano Coletti, Simon Trummer
Trident Racing - TBA, TBA
Hilmer Motorport - TBA, TBA
Venezuela GP Lazarus - Rene Binder, Kevin Giovesi
MP Motorsport - Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, Daniël de Jong



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sam Bird (GBR, iSport International) during practice at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. on September 9, 2011. (Photo Copyright: Drew Gibson/GP2 Media Service.)
Sam Bird (GBR, iSport International) during practice at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. on September 9, 2011. (Photo Copyright: Drew Gibson/GP2 Media Service.)
Sam Bird (GBR, Trident Racing) testing at Jerez in October 2011 for Trident Racing. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/ GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Saturday 19 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014 (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) during practice at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Friday 18 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering), takes the flag to win at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrates in parc fermé at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrates in parc fermé at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrates on the podium at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering), Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) & Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) on the podium at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) crosses the line to win his first race at Hockenheimring, Germany 2014 GP3 Series Round 4. Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) celebrates winning his first race at Hockenheimring, Germany 2014 GP3 Series Round 4. Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) on the podium with Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) and Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) at Hockenheimring, Germany 2014 GP3 Series Round 4. Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) celebrates on the podium at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Sunday 20 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Saturday 19 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Friday 18 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jann Mardenborough (GBR, Arden International) at Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany. Friday 18 July 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)

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