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Ellinas gets maiden GP2 run at Barcelona

Tio Ellinas will make his first start in the GP2 Series this weekend, taking over from Jon Lancaster at MP Motorsport.
Two-year GP3 veteran Tio Ellinas has been handed a chance to make his race debut in the GP2 Series this weekend at championship, after being signed by MP Motorsport to pilot the #21 car at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

"Really happy about this opportunity," the 22-year-old from Cyprus posted on Twitter after the announcement was made. "I will be racing [GP2] this weekend in Barcelona. Hope to turn everything around!"

Ellinas moved straight into GP3 after seasons racing in Formula Renault UK (2010) Formula Renault UK (2011). He has been racing for Marussia Manor Racing in the GP3 series since 2012 and has claimed three race wins in Italy, Spain and Abu Dhabi as well as also finishing in the runners-up position on two further occasions in Italy and Germany.

He finished in fourth place overall in the drivers championship in 2013, and since the end of the season has also competed in and won the MRF Racing Series title, and taken part in the 2013 Young Driver Tests with Marussia F1.

Ellinas takes over the MP Motorsport race seat from British driver Jon Lancaster, who raced for the team in Bahrain but failed to finish in the top ten in either the feature or sprint race. Lancaster ran a partial season with Hilmer Motorsport in 2013 but has struggled to come up with the necessary sponsorship to run a full-year campaign in the feeder series.

There will also be another change in the driver line-up this weekend, with Trident announcing that they would field experienced driver Sergio Canamasas in the #22 car in place of Zimbabwean rookie Axcil Jefferies who was handed the seat on a trial basis at Bahrain.

Canamasas completed a full season with Caterham Racing in 2013, during which he finished in the points on two occasions at Abu Dhabi and Monza. He also raced for five weekends in 2012 with Venezuela GP Lazarus, which included an ignominious end to the year at Singapore when he was black flagged for not serving a drive-thru penalty in the time allowed.

Trident's GP3 operation has also confirmed that 21-year-old Russian driver Denis Nagulin will take the seat of the #25 car at the first race of the season at Barcelona, alongside Victor Carbone and Roman de Beer. However, Trident did not specify whether this would be limited to just a one-weekend appearance for Nagulin or whether it was a longer-term signing.

Nagulin worked with Trident in the pre-season GP3 test sessions in Spain last month. He also spent half a day working with the Venezuela GP Lazarus GP2 team in the 2013 post-season tests at Bahrain last year.

That means 25 of the 27 drivers for the GP3 weekend at Barcelona have now been confirmed, with only Hilmer Motorsport left with open seats. F3 Open race winner Nelson Mason had previously driven Hilmer's second car in pre-season testing, while the team has not so far fielded a third entry. Hilmer only agreed to take over Russian Time's slot on the GP3 grid in mid-March and is still having to play catch-up because of the late start.

GP2 drivers for 2014 as of May 7

#01 Mitch Evans (NZL) - Russian Time
#02 Artem Markelov (RUS) - Russian Time
#03 Felipe Nasr (BRA) - Carlin
#04 Julian Leal (COL) - Carlin
#05 Raffaele Marciello (ITA) - Racing Engineering
#06 Stefano Coletti (MON) - Racing Engineering
#07 Jolyon Palmer (GBR) - DAMS
#08 Stéphane Richelmi (MON) - DAMS
#09 Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) - ART Grand Prix
#10 Takuya Izawa (JAP) - ART Grand Prix
#11 Daniel Abt (GER) - Hilmer Motorsport
#12 Facu Regalia (ARG) - Hilmer Motorsport
#14 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR) - Rapax
#15 Simon Trummer (SUI) - Rapax
#16 Rene Binder (AUT) - Arden International
#17 André Negrao (BRA) - Arden International
#18 Rio Haryanto (INA) - EQ8 Caterham Racing
#19 Alexander Rossi (USA) - EQ8 Caterham Racing
#20 Daniel De Jong (NED) - MP Motorsport
#21 Tio Ellinas * - MP Motorsport
#22 Sergio Canamasas * - Trident
#23 Johnny Cecotto Jr. (VEN) - Trident
#24 Nathanaël Berthon (FRA) - Venezuela GP Lazarus
#25 Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus
#26 Arthur Pic (FRA) - Campos Racing
#27 Kimiya Sato (JAP) - Campos Racing

GP3 drivers for 2014 as of May 7

#1 Alex Fontana (SWI) - ART Grand Prix
#2 Marvin Kirchhofer (GER) - ART Grand Prix
#3 Dino Zamparelli (GBR) - ART Grand Prix
#4 Robert Visoiu (ROM) - Arden International
#5 Patric Niederhauser (SWI) - Arden International
#6 Jann Mardenborough (GBR) - Arden International
#7 Carmen Jorda (SPA) - Koiranen GP
#8 Jimmy Eriksson (SWE) - Koiranen GP
#9 Santiago Urrutia (URG) - Koiranen GP
#10 Alex Lynn (GBR) - Carlin
#11 Emil Bernstorff (GBR) - Carlin
#12 Luis Sa Silva (MAC) - Carlin
#14 Patrick Kujala (FIN) - Marussia Manor Racing
#15 Ryan Cullen (GBR) - Marussia Manor Racing
#16 Dean Stoneman (GBR) - Marussia Manor Racing
#17 Ivan Taranov (RUS) - Hilmer Motorsport
#18 TBA - Hilmer Motorsport
#19 TBA - Hilmer Motorsport
#20 Pal Varhaug (NOR) - Jenzer Motorsport
#21 Matheo Tuscher (SWI) - Jenzer Motorsport
#22 Adderly Fong (CHI) - Jenzer Motorsport
#23 Victor Carbone (BRA) - Trident
#24 Roman De Beer (SA) - Trident
#25 Denis Nagulin * (RUS) - Trident
#26 Nick Yelloly (GBR) - Status Grand Prix
#27 Richie Stanaway (NZL) - Status Grand Prix
#28 Alfonso Celis Jr (MEX) - Status Grand Prix

* - not currently confirmed for full season

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jon Lancaster (GBR, MP Motorsport) on day 3 of the second GP2 Series pre-season test session, at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday 21 March, 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jon Lancaster (GBR) MP Motorsport in Abu Dhabi for day 3 of pre-season testing on Thursday, March 13 2014. (Photo Credit: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Axcil Jefferies (ZIM) Trident at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for day 2 of pre-season testing on Wednesday, March 12 2014. (Photo: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Axcil Jefferies (ZIM) Trident at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for day 2 of pre-season testing on Wednesday, March 12 2014. (Photo: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Tio Ellinas (CYP) Marussia Manor Racing (World Copyright: Malcolm Griffiths/GP3 Media Service.)
Tio Ellinas (CYP) Marussia Manor Racing celebrates victory in race 1 at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain on May 11, 2013. (World Copyright: Malcolm Griffiths/GP3 Media Service.)
Gustav Malja F2 2017
Nobuharu Matsushita - ART Grand Prix [credit: Formula 2]
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, F2, Formula 2, Bahrain
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Artem Markelov, F2, Bahrain
Artem Markelov
Norman Nato, Bahrain F2 2017, Formula 2
Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, Formula 2, 2017
Nabil Jeffri, Team Trident [Credit: Team Trident]
Alexander Albon - ART Grand Prix [GP2 Series]

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