Marussia Manor Racing have signed South American Formula 3 champion Fabio Machado for the coming GP3 season.
At 25, Sao Paulo's Machado will likely be one of the older drivers on the grid, but he is a relatively late-starter in motorsport, with only two years of single-seater racing behind him.
After winning the RBC karting championship he began racing in South American F3 in late 2010, but picked up four wins from 12 races and ended up fourth in the final standings. He remained in the series in 2011 and was totally dominant, winning 17 of the 25 points on his way to the title. He did benefit though from being the only leading contender to do the entire season.
“To race in the GP3 Series with a winning team like Marussia Manor Racing will be a big step forward in my learning process and in my career,” said Machado. “I'm really pleased and excited to be racing for the first time in a European Championship. I want to thank the team and my sponsor Grupo Schahin for this opportunity and I will work as hard as possible to put together a strong campaign.”
Marussia Manor team principal Pete Sliwinski added: “We are delighted to welcome Fabiano to Marussia Manor Racing for the 2012 season. To win the South American F3 Championship shows that he is a fast and talented young driver and I'm sure that in his first season in Europe he will continue to impress us. He will be a great asset to the team.”
Machado joins Russian teenager Dmitry Suranovich in Marussia Manor's lineup, with a third driver set to be announced prior to the first pre-season test at Estoril in Portugal next Tuesday and Wednesday, where Machado will get his first taste of GP3 machinery.