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Petrov in as DPR says goodbye to Pla, Direxiv.

Vitaly Petrov will make his GP2 Series debut this weekend, as DPR's relationship with Direxiv appears to have become a victim of the latter's reported business problems.

Speculation has swirled in motorsport circles recently concerning the financial health of the Japanese luxury goods company, which made a grand entrance to motorsport over the past couple of years and was even chasing a spot on the Formula One grid in 2008.

The split with DPR, which will retain its distinctive 'flame' livery but without Direxiv branding from Hockenheim onwards, is not the first change in circumstance for the company either, following last week's announcement that it would play no further part in GP2 driver Hiroki Yoshimoto's career.

DPR claims that the Direxiv Motorsport off shoot failed to meet its contractual obligations with regard to sponsorship monies and, as a result of the fall-out, the British team has ditched Olivier Pla - only recently back from a broken wrist - and drafted in Petrov for the foreseeable future. Clivio Piccione has made alternative sponsorship arrangements and will remain with the team.

Petrov, the 21-year old reigning Russian F1600 champion, is currently fourth in the Euroseries 3000 Championship, and will come to GP2 with two series victories under
his belt, the most recent at Mugello this past weekend.

Should the rumours be true, Direxiv's problems would have a larger knock-on effect that just altering the DPR line-up, with several other drivers, notably GP2 points leader Lewis Hamilton and British F3 frontrunner Maro Engel receiving backing, as well as teams such as McLaren and the DPR-run Direxiv FNippon squad. Although the likes of Hamilton and McLaren should be safe, it remains to be seen what will happen to lesser lights relying on money from Japan.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Olivier Pla -  DPR Direxiv [pic credit: GP2 Series media]
Clivio Piccione - DPR Direxiv [pic credit: GP2 Series media]
Matt Parry - Koiranen GP   [pic credit: GP3 Media Service]
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Seb Morris (GBR, Status Grand Prix) &Matheo Tuscher (SUI, Jenzer Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) leads Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Trident) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) & Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) celebrates in parc ferme. Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) crosses the line and takes the chequered flag and the win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) celebrates on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) celebrates on the podium with Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) celebrates on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) celebrates in parc ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service

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