Carlin have confirmed the 2009 Formula Ford UK Vice Champion Josef Newgarden will partner the 2009 Formula Renault UK Champion Dean Smith in the inaugural GP3 Series, which will support the FIA Formula One World Championship at all of the European races.

The nineteen year old is fast becoming a name to watch out for; in 2009, he won ten races in the Formula Ford Championship, four pole positions and took sixteen podium finishes, as well as two wins out of three in his one off Formula Palmer Audi appearance.

Carlin is the current Cooper Tyres British Formula Three International Series Champions, having taken Red Bull Racing's reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo to the title in 2009, and Brendon Hartley to the crown in 2008.

In the very first GP3 test, which was held at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, Carlin saw two of their cars finish inside the top five, with the third and fourth fastest times during the test.

Newgarden made his GP3 debut with the team at the second official test, again in France at the Paul Ricard circuit, and was immediately  on the pace, setting the sixth fastest time in the mini qualifying session to determine the race numbers for each team.

Speaking about the deal, Newgarden said: “I'm very excited about the season ahead.  It's great to be involved in the first season of GP3, especially with Carlin which has such an incredible history of results.  I have a good opportunity this year and I want to make the most of it and do the best job possible for myself and the team.

“GP3 is a fantastic championship; following in the footsteps of GP2  – it's very well organised and supporting the European F1 races means it's highly visible as well.  If you're going to do a good job there's no better arena to do it in.  I can't wait to get to Barcelona for the first race.”

Trevor Carlin, the Carlin Racing Director added: “We watched Josef's progress last year and he's already attracted a lot of interest in the industry.  I'm delighted that he's chosen Carlin as the team with which to further his career and I believe that GP3 is a great environment for him to hone his skills.  GP3 is a big step up for Josef, but he's already proven his ability to adapt to the GP3 car and I'm confident he will be challenging for podiums this season.”

Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP3 Media Service