The GP3 Series 2016 race calendar has been confirmed with the season opener at its traditional home in Barcelona and it also includes a debut trip to Sepang for its penultimate round before the Abu Dhabi finale.

The F1 support series as announced its calendar in conjunction with GP2 and it consists of nine rounds shadowing the intermediate class, albeit it without trips to Baku or Monaco.

Starting in mid-May at Barcelona, where F1 testing is concluding, the GP3 paddock will enjoy a two-day mid-season test at the Red Bull Ring before returning in July for its second round.

The championship will dovetail F1 and GP2 for the European season before a trip to Sepang in late September. As has become tradition, the three series will then climax at the Yas Marina in late November.

There will also be seven pre-season test days held in Estoril, Valencia and Barcelona which gets underway on the 22 March.

GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel says he's delighted with the championship calendar which means it can gain maximum expose in the F1 paddock.

"The fact that we will run alongside nine Formula One events this season guarantees great exposure for our young and talented drivers," Michel said. "This will give them the best opportunity to showcase their potential on the same tracks, using Pirelli tyres, in front of the F1 fraternity.

"We welcome the addition of Sepang to the GP3 calendar which will provide yet another intriguing challenge. It promises to be another very exciting year, especially with the introduction of the third generation GP3 car."

2016 GP3 Series calendar:

13-15 May Barcelona, Spain
07-08 June Spielberg, Austria
01-03 July Spielberg, Austria
08-10 July Silverstone, Great-Britain
22-24 July Budapest, Hungary
29-31 July Hockenheim, Germany
26-28 August Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
02-04 September Monza, Italy
30 Sep - 02 October Sepang, Malaysia
27-29 November Yas Marina, UAE