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GP3: Eight teams sign on for next three-year cycle

The GP3 Series has announced the eight teams that will be competing in the next three years of the championship - with two notable absences.
Eight teams have been unveiled as making up the grid for the next three years of the GP3 Series championship, with each team once again set to field three cars at each event.

"I am very pleased to reveal the names of the eight teams that have been given an entry for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons," said GP3 CEO Bruno Michel on Thursday.

"In order to give more support to our teams in today's challenging economic environment, we decided to limit the entries to eight and favour quality over quantity. We will reassess our position should the situation changes."

Two new teams have been added, with DAMS following their announcement yesterday that they were ending their involvement in Formula Renault 3.5 with confirmation that they would be joining GP3 along with another new arrival to the series in the form of AutoGP team Virtuosi Racing which currently operates the Russian Time squad in GP2.

"I'm delighted to announce DAMS' GP3 Series campaign,' said team principal Jean-Paul Driot. "The project will certainly add another string to our bow.

"We're familiar with the category, but fielding a brand new car and very young drivers naturally means starting from scratch, so we need to remain level-headed. Nevertheless, DAMS is ready to draw on its vast experience and meet the challenge head-on, so we have high hopes going into the championship."

But two new teams means that two of the old line-up of teams will be bowing out, with Carlin and Status Grand Prix both deciding not to continue in the series.

"In order to support our various teams in today's challenging economic environment, we decided to reassess the championships in which Carlin competes next season," the team said in a statement released via Facebook.

"We thank the GP3 Series organisers for six great years, during which time the team have won both the teams' and drivers' titles and taken numerous race wins. We remain completely dedicated to our GP2 team for next season and the foreseeable future."

Status GP said that its decision not to renew its involvement in the GP3 Series was "in order to maximise focus on our GP2 campaign."

In a statement from the team, team principal Teddy Yip Jr. said: "Having finished second in the team championship in the inaugural GP3 Series we have enjoyed six successful years in the category collecting nine race wins, 26 podium finishes and vying for numerous team and driver titles.

"We now look forward to finishing the 2015 GP2 and GP3 seasons on a high before mounting a robust GP2 title campaign in 2016," he added.

Arden, ART, Campos Racing, Jenzer Motorsport, Koiranen GP and Trident all return to the championship for another three-year contract.

"We opted to continue with most of the existing GP3 teams," said Michel. "But we also wanted to bring new blood which is why I'm happy to welcome both DAMS and Virtuosi Racing who have been very successful in other categories.

"Five of the chosen teams run also in GP2 thus creating a natural path between our two series.

"The GP3 Series has grown into one of the most important motorsport categories, and through six strong seasons it has consolidated its position as a stepping stone to GP2 and Formula 1. Out of the first five GP3 Champions, Esteban GutiƩrrez, Valtteri Bottas and Daniil Kvyat are in F1 whilst Mitch Evans and Alex Lynn are racing in GP2.

"Next on our agenda is working on the 2016 calendar with the target of racing alongside GP2 and F1 at each round," Michel added.

"In the meantime, we continue to focus on our development test programme [for the next-generation GP3 car]. So far, the results have shown that we will have a very competitive and reliable car which will make for another fiercely contested and entertaining season."

Full team line-up for 2016-2018

- Arden International (GBR)
- ART Grand Prix (FRA)
- Campos Racing (ESP)
- Jenzer Motorsport (SUI)
- Koiranen GP (FIN)
- Trident (ITA)
- Virtuosi Racing (GBR)

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bruno Michel, GP2/GP3 Series Organiser. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Bruno Michel, GP2 CEO. [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP2 Media Service.]
Bruno Michel, the CEO of the GP2/GP3 Series. [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service.]
GP3 and GP2 logos [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service.]
Luca Ghiotto - Trident Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Luca Ghiotto - Trident Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing
Sergio Canamasas - Carlin
Alex Lynn - DAMS
Alex Lynn - DAMS
Sergey Sirotkin - ART Grand Prix
Sergey Sirotkin - ART Grand Prix
Sergey Sirotkin - ART Grand Prix

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