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Russian Time signs up for GP3 in 2014

The Russian Time team is to expand its operations from GP2 so that from 2014 it will also field a squad in the supporting European-based GP3 Series.
The Russian Time team which joined the GP2 Series at the start of 2013 is to expand and field a three-car GP3 team next season, team principal Igor Mazepa announced on Friday.

"We're very happy to be joining the GP3 Series next season," said Mazepa. "I would like to thank the organisers for this great opportunity."

The team will take over the spot on the grid currently held by Bamboo Engineering, which is pulling out of the competition at the end of the current season. Russian Time's addition means that GP3 will continue to have nine different teams and a full field of 27 cars competing in each race.

Russian Time itself made its first appearance in the feeder series after agreeing a late buy-out of iSport International's GP2 assets in March just weeks before the start of the 2013 season. Despite being a last-minute addition to GP2, the team hit the ground running and currently leads the team championship from Carlin and Racing Engineering going into the last event of the year, while the team's lead driver Sam Bird is neck-and-neck with Fabio Leimer in the drivers' title battle.

"We've had a very successful first season in GP2 Series in 2013 in our first year," agreed Mazepa. "Our objective was to be fighting for the teams' title and that's what we will be doing in Abu Dhabi next month.

"We're looking forward to that same kind of success in GP3 in 2014 and 2015," he added. "We will be working hard towards that starting with the post-season tests at Yas Marina Circuit."

GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel welcomed Russian Time to the series.

"I am confident they will put together a GP3 team that will be ready and competitive for this new challenge," he said.

"Their rookie year in GP2 Series in 2013 has been extremely strong so far with five wins, three podium finishes and three pole positions," Michel continued. "They're currently leading the teams' standings with only one round left in the season."

Michel confirmed that Russian Time would take over and see out the remaining two years of their predecessor's contract with GP3, putting them on the grid through to the end of 2015. "I would like to thank Bamboo Engineering and wish them the best of success in the future," he added.

Russian Time will make its first appearance in GP3 colours after the final race of the current season, when teams stay on for post-race testing at Abu Dhabi on November 5-7.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sam Bird (GBR, Russian Time) celebrates his victory after the sprint race in Singapore on Sunday, September 22 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Sam Bird (GBR, Russian Time) celebrates his pole after qualifying in Monza - Friday, September 6 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Bruno Michel, GP2/GP3 Series Organiser. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
2012 GP2 Series Testing at Barcelona, Spain. Wednesday 31st October 2012. .iSport logo. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
GP2 series logo on the GP2/11 Car. [World Copyright: Drew Gibson/GP2 Media Service.]
RUSSIAN TIME logo. (Photo Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service)
Norman Nato - Racing Engineering
Jordan King - Racing Engineering
Jordan King - Racing Engineering
Norman Nato - Racing Engineering
Norman Nato - Racing Engineering
Charles Leclerc, ART Grand Prix, GP3 [Credit: XPB]
Charles Leclerc - ART   [pic credit: GP3 Media]
Artem Markelov - Russian Time
Artem Markelov - Russian Time
Norman Nato - Racing Engineering
Raffaele Marciello - Russian Time
Charles Leclerc, ART Grand Prix, GP3 [Credit: XPB]

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