6 March 2015
GP3: Parry graduates with Koiranen
Matt Parry will step up to the GP3 Series for 2015 after agreeing terms with Koiranen GP.
Matt Parry will step up to the GP3 Series for the 2015 season, racing on the F1 support bill having agreed terms to join the Koiranen GP team.
The deal to move up from the Formula Renault Eurocup came late in the day for the Welshman, who had looked set to address what he termed 'unfinished business' after a frustrating 2014 campaign, but will see him reunited with the Koiranen outfit with which he ended the year on a high note in GP3 testing at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The GP3 Series – which enjoys extensive coverage on SKY TV's exclusive F1 channel - has enjoyed recent success in promoting drivers to the highest echelon of international motorsport, with new Red Bull F1 driver Daniil Kvyat graduating directly as champion in 2014.
“I originally thought I'd be back for another crack at the Eurocup, this time with Koiranen, but [team manager] Afa [Heikkinen] offered us a very good deal to switch to GP3,” Parry revealed, “With a lot of advice already suggesting it was time to move on from Formula Renault, it was an easy decision to make, and I'm looking forward to the challenge of testing myself in a proven F1 feeder series.”
As well as returning to the team with which he enjoyed his first taste of GP3, Parry also has prior race experience with Koiranen, having made a podium-winning Formula Renault ALPS appearance with the Barcelona-based outfit at Imola in 2013. He has now relocated to Spain to work more closely with the team, and will act as a driver coach for drivers in Russia's SMP F4 Series.
“The familiarity that I have with Koiranen should make working together easier, and allow us to concentrate on the programme from the very first minute on track,” Parry commented, “Koiranen has shown that it is a great GP3 team, having helped Dean Stoneman to finish second overall in 2014, and I quickly felt at home in the car in Abu Dhabi. That all bodes well for the year ahead and I can't wait to get started.”
Parry's programme will see him racing alongside the F1 World Championship on eight occasions, with a ninth, as yet unconfirmed, venue completing the calendar. His previous international campaigns, which yielded the Formula Renault NEC title in 2013, will again serve the 21-year old well as he races on some familiar tracks, but the season will also see him travelling to pastures new.
“The GP3 Series gives us the chance to race on the majority of the European F1 circuits, and I am already familiar with many of them from my time in Formula Renault, but I am looking forward to getting to know the likes of Sochi and the Red Bull Ring,” Parry said, “It's shame the series no longer goes to Monaco, but classic venues such as Silverstone, Monza and Spa more than make up for that...”
Parry, who became the 25th McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner in 2013 and enjoyed his first taste of F1 power as a result when he tested a McLaren at Silverstone last October, will get his season underway with the first of three pre-season tests, at Estoril in Portugal, over 18-19 March. The first double-header round of the championship supports the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya over the weekend of 8-10 May.
Parry retains the backing of Sport Wales, as well as the patronage of both the MSA's Team UK programme and the BRDC's SuperStars scheme, all of which assist with his training and preparation.
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