GP2 Series

GP2 Teams To Return To Action In Barcelona Test

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Nigel Melker - Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service

The GP2 Series will be back on track at the Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday for the first post-season test.

After a disappointing 2012 season, former teams’ champions Addax field Auto GP champion Adrian Quaife-Hobbs alongside Jake Rosenzweig, who raced for the Spanish squad at the final two rounds of the season with little success.

DAMS, who took Davide Valsecchi to the drivers’ title and also secured the teams’ crown, will run Arthur Pic on both days, the younger brother of F1 racer Charles having won for the team in Formula Renault 3.5 this year. He will be joined on the first day by Nigel Melker, who previously raced for the team in the non-championship race at Abu Dhabi 12 months ago, and on the second by Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin, who tested for their FR3.5 squad at the same circuit last week after finishing third in Auto GP this year.

Melker will switch to Racing Engineering on Wednesday, after FR3.5 racer Andre Negrao and European F3 Open champion-elect Gianmarco Raimondo have had their first taste of GP2 machinery with the Spanish outfit on Tuesday. Facu Regalia will join Melker on day two having tested for iSport International on day one alongside Pal Varhaug. iSport’s 2012 regular Jolyon Palmer will replace Regalia on Wednesday as he starts to prepare for his third season in GP2.

Lotus GP will give GP3 star Daniel Abt the chance to graduate to GP2 with the team, being joined on the first day of the test by Stephane Richelmi. Alexander Rossi will return to Caterham’s GP2 arm ahead of an expected graduation to the series for 2013, with fellow FR3.5 driver Lucas Foresti driving the second car on both days.

Despite the fact they will leave the series at the end of the year, Scuderia Coloni will be present at the test. Daniel De Jong will drive on both days, while Italian F3 champion Riccardo Agostini will drive the second car on Tuesday before handing over to team veteran Luca Filippi.

Marcus Ericsson will appear with Trident Racing on Tuesday alongside Julian Leal, with the team’s 2012 lineup being reunited on Wednesday when Richelmi will join Leal. Lazarus will run Rene Binder after the Austrian raced for the team in Monza and Singapore, together with Kevin Giovesi, a multiple race winner in Italian F3 and leader of the class for older machinery in the European F3 Open.

Stefano Coletti is the only driver so far with a confirmed seat for 2013, with Rapax. He will be partnered at the test by European F3 champion Daniel Juncadella. Arden International will grant their GP3 champion Mitch Evans the chance to test GP2 with them, alongside regular 2012 driver Simon Trummer.

Ocean field Kevin Ceccon, who raced for the Portuguese team in GP3 this year and last week dominated the GP3 test with Arden, and Ramon Pineiro, who returns to the cockpit after a year out having finished third in Formula Two last year. Carlin welcome back Rio Haryanto and Felipe Nasr, who raced for DAMS this year but took the British F3 title last year with Carlin and will also compete at the upcoming Macau Grand Prix with them.

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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