Hilmer Motorsport has called up Jon Lancaster as a last-minute driver replacement for them at this weekend's GP2 Series races at Silverstone.
Lancaster will take over the wheel of the #12 car for the feature and sprint races, after the team's former driver Facu Regalia exited the team complaining he hadn't been provided with a competitive car in the first four outings of the 2014 season.
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"Jon Lancaster will compete with us in GP2 in Silverstone and he will replace Facu Regalia," team principal Franz Hilmer confirmed on Thursday, less than 24 hours before the start of this weekend's practice session.
"Since Facu Regalia didn't comply with his contract until the end of the season and only informed us a few days ago that he will not race with Hilmer Motorsport any more from the event in Silverstone, it was extremely difficult to find a replacement in the shortness of time," Hilmer admitted. "We are very happy that we could come to an agreement with Jon Lancaster for this weekend and we are very happy that he will return to the team."
Lancaster had eight weekends with Hilmer in 2013 and finished in 11th place in the driver's championship after scoring two sprint race wins for the team in the Silverstone and Nurburgring rounds.
"I am very thankful for this opportunity to come back to Hilmer Motorsport what is kind of my GP2 home after last year," said Lancaster. "If we could repeat what happened here last year with our race win we would be pretty happy."
The 25-year-old from Leeds also took part in the first round of the 2014 season in Bahrain with MP Motorsport. He'll now line up alongside Daniel Abt for this weekend's British event.
"With Daniel and Jon we now have two winning drivers and we are confident to race at the top this weekend," said Hilmer. Currently, the team is one of only four squads not to have scored a podium finish so far in 2014, the others being MP Motorsport, Venezuela GP Lazarus and Campos Racing.
"I know the team very well and it's hard to believe what happened to the team this year so far," Lancaster admitted. "I hope that we can prove that we are still a winning team and I will give everything to have a good result."
"It is very important for us to have a good race weekend," agreed Abt. "We have to stay out of trouble and everything has to run smoothly.
"I was racing many times in Silverstone and I nearly finished on the podium a couple of times," he added. "The track is challenging and should suit our car because it is very demanding on tyres and we always could use our tyres very well.
"Hopefully Silverstone will be a turning point for a successful second half of the season. There are seven race weekends left and if we score points continuously it still can become a good year," he insisted.
Practice and the qualifying sessions take place on Friday at 12pm BST and 3.55pm BST respectively. The feature race 1 gets underway on Saturday afternoon at 2.40pm following the end of qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Britain, and the start of the sprint race 2 is scheduled for 9.20am on Sunday morning. In the UK, GP2 sessions air live on Sky Sports F1