Oliver Turvey has clinched a place on the 2011 GP2 Asia Series grid after being announced as a driver for Ocean Racing Technology. The Portuguese team also confirmed that Italian driver Andrea Caldarelli would be his teammate for the three-round series.
Turvey finished sixth in his maiden GP2 Asia and Main Series campaigns for iSport International last season, and tested extensively for McLaren in the post-season Formula 1 tests. However, he lost his place at iSport for 2011 after his primary backer, the Racing Steps Foundation, withdrew its support.
After his future in single-seaters had looked uncertain, the 23-year-old from Penrith is delighted to have been given a chance by the Ocean team, which is owned by ex-Formula 1 driver Tiago Monteiro. “I am very happy, that with my management, we have reached an agreement with Ocean, and would like to thank one more time Tiago, his partners and the people who are backing me up for the Asian Championship,” said Turvey. “I feel totally ready and completely prepared for the challenge we have to face and I have big ambitions. I always race to win and I think we have everything we need to be competitive.”
Speaking about the upcoming tests days in Abu Dhabi, Turvey said: “We have four days of tests ahead of us, during which we will have to get to know the new car and the new tyres. Our objective will be to understand the package in order to build a solid foundation for what comes next. It will be a crucial phase but I am confident.”
Joining Turvey in Ocean's colours for the Asia Series will be Caldarelli, who tested for a range of teams at the end of 2010. A former member of the Toyota development programme, Caldarelli finished third in the Italian Formula 3 Championship in 2010, an achievement which earned him a Formula 1 test with Ferrari.
“I am very happy and above all very motivated to race in the GP2 Asia Series with Ocean Racing Technology,” said the 20-year-old. “I would like to thank my sponsors, as well as my family, without whom this adventure would not have been possible.
“I am certain that after the four days of tests ahead of us I will be very familiar with the team and its operating methods,” he continued. “I have started working with the engineers and the rest of the structure and I am confident because I know that we can do a good job and make progress.”
Monteiro is pleased with his team's driver lineup. “Honestly, we are very satisfied,” he said. “We have worked a great deal to reach a certain level and our ambition was to assign our cars to the best two drivers of the up-and-coming generation. With Oliver and Andrea, we will have the ideal driver package. The GP2 Series are becoming more and more competitive and tests will be crucial because we will have to learn to get to know the new car and develop it with an eye toward the GP2 Main Series.”