Alice Powell - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP3 Series Media Service

Alice Powell - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP3 Series Media Service

Alice Powell will race in the GP3 Series this year for Status Grand Prix, the Silverstone-based team has officially confirmed.

The 19-year-old British driver tasted GP3 machinery for the first time at last week's final pre-season test at Silverstone, with the Status team. She becomes the third female driver to join the series for this season, together with Italy's Vicky Piria and Spain's Carmen Jorda.

Powell has been racing in Formula Renault 2.0 for the past three years, finishing 18th in the British championship in 2009 with a best result of tenth, before winning the Formula Renault BARC title in 2010. She returned to Formula Renault UK for 2011, finishing ninth in the final standings with a best result of fourth place.

“I am delighted to join Status GP for my step up into the international motorsport arena,” said Powell. “I liked the GP3 car immediately, and I am confident that together we will produce some strong results. I will be learning circuits and the formula this year, but the team is very experienced and we're already working well together.”

Status won races with Alexander Sims and Antonio Felix da Costa last season, while Robert Wickens finished as runner-up in the 2010 standings with the team.

Powell joins Filipino second-year driver Marlon Stockinger and F3 graduate Kotaro Sakurai of Japan at Status' lineup for the coming season, which gets underway at the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona on 11-13 May. A number of other drivers had been testing for them team over the winter, including 2010 Formula Renault UK champion Tom Blomqvist.

Status GP team principal Teddy Yip added: “Alice comes to Status GP will an excellent pedigree in karting and junior single-seaters, and we've already seen she has real ability as well as an excellent approach and a good grounding from her past single-seater experience. She is an excellent addition to the team.”