British Formula Ford racer Ryan Cullen will take part in the GP3 Series post-season testing for Status Grand Prix as he prepares to step up to the category next year.

The 21-year-old from Somerset lies sixth in the Formula Ford standings in his rookie season of car racing. He will test with Status at Jerez in Spain on 24-25 October and Estoril in Portugal on 6-7 November.

“GP3 is going to be a huge step up for me, but I believe this is the right category for me to move into,” said Cullen. “The new car is by all accounts supposed to look and sound fantastic, but I won’t be able to find out how good it is on track until I get to drive it.

“I like the fact that the 2013 series with the new car is looking to reduce the gap between GP3 and GP2, with everyone competing on the same weekends on the European circuits as support races to Formula 1. My driver coach is Scott Malvern. He tested with Status GP last year and told me what a good team they are, with a strong view on the driver-team relationship. I like the way the team is set up.”

Like Cullen, Status has Irish heritage. “It’s obviously a bonus as my dad is Irish, but more important for me as a driver is how Status GP operates as a team. I’m really looking forward to the tests.”

Status GP commercial director Tim Scott added: “Status GP is looking forward to working with Ryan through the autumn. He has learnt quickly in Formula Ford, and has an excellent plan for his progression for the off-season.

“He has a very good approach, has shown well on our GP3 simulator, and over four days has a really good opportunity to fully adapt to slicks and wings in the build-up to 2013.”

Cullen is also set to take part in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand at the start of next year.