Adrian Quaife-Hobbs will not be competing at Sochi this weekend, and his place in the Rapax line-up will be taken instead by Tio Ellinas.

Having finished fourth in last year's GP3 Series championship with Marussia Manor Racing, the 22-year-old from Cyprus took part in three GP2 rounds at the start of the year with MP Motorsport at Barcelona, Monaco and Austria.

Funding issues meant that Ellinas was then replaced for Silverstone by World Series by Renault racewinner Marco Sorensen, who was able to bring in financial backing from Saxo Bank.

However, a neck injury for Rapax's regular driver Quaife-Hobbs ruling him out of competition this weekend in GP2's maiden weekend at Sochi means that Ellinas is the team's short-notice selection as a replacement for the 23-year-old from Pembury in Kent.

"Unfortunately, regular driver Adrian Quaife-Hobbs has been advised not to race, as he is currently suffering a neck injury," the team said in a brief statement ahead of the start of this week's racing action.

The team gave no further details about the cause, nature or severity of Quaife-Hobbs's injury or whether he would be well enough to take part in next month's GP2 season finale at Abu Dhabi on November 21-23.

Ellinas finished in the points twice in his six race outings at the start of the season, with a best finish of seventh place in his d?but in Spain. Prior to that in GP3, Ellinas scored three race wins and two further podium finishes.

Practice at Sochi gets underway on Friday at midday local time (9am BST) with qualifying taking place later the same day at 4pm (1pm BST). The 30-lap feature race 1 takes the green flag at 4.40pm (1.40pm BST) with the sprint race being run over 21 laps on Sunday morning at 12.05pm (9.05am BST).

The rest of the GP2 field is not expected to change, but GP3 will be missing the Marussia Manor Racing line-up of Dean Stoneman, Patrick Kujala and Ryan Cullen for 'commercial reasons'.



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