Arden International has confirmed that Johnny Cecotto Jr will race for the team in the GP2 Series this year.

Cecotto, who had already revealed the identity of his new team to the Venezuelan press, joins Arden after winning two races for Addax on his way to ninth in the standings last year. He spent the final day of post-season testing at Jerez with Arden and topped the timesheets in both of the morning and afternoon sessions.

He replaces 2012 series runner-up Luiz Razia as the team’s lead driver, and Arden’s sporting director Julian Rouse feels that with Cecotto the team can challenge for the title again.

“It is great to have Johnny joining our GP2 team for the 2013 season,” said Rouse. “He has shown great potential since he first joined the series three years ago and he has developed strongly with the current car and the Pirelli tyres.

“We had an excellent test together in Jerez, finishing both sessions at the top of the time sheets, which assured us of his talent on track and technical ability to work with the team. I am more than confident that if we work hard together we can go one better in the drivers’ championship in 2013.”

Cecotto said the positive test was the key motive behind joining Arden.

“I’m delighted to have signed for Arden Motorsport,” he said. “It’s one of the best teams in current motorsport with a great history too.

“We had the possibility to get to know each other in a test and straight away there was a great feeling between the engineers, mechanics and me. I feel it was the right moment to sign so that we have plenty of time to prepare for the championship well and I can also prepare mentally and physically for the 2013 GP2 Series.

“The target is definitely to win the championship and I’m sure that both the team and I have the potential to do so.”

The capture of Cecotto and his substantial financial backing should enable the team’s reigning GP3 champion Mitch Evans to take the second seat.