Isaakyan replaces Atoev in SMP Racing line-up

Matevos Isaakyan will make his Formula V8 3.5 Series debut this weekend at Motorland Aragon after being drafted in to replace fellow Russian Vladimir Atoev in the SMP Racing squad.

Atoev was set to make his own debut in the championship at the Spanish circuit this weekend, but the seventeen-year-old has been forced to step down from the ride after developing a back injury that ruled him out of the last pre-season test at the same circuit last week.

Isaakyan stepped into the seat for that test, and now will compete alongside Matthieu Vaxiviere for the foreseeable future in the championship, although he could miss two rounds of the series due to his commitments with Koiranen GP in the GP3 Series.

“I am very happy to be racing in a championship as strong as Formula V8 3.5,” said Isaakyan. “And I’m even more pleased to be making my debut alongside SMP Racing, which is a big responsibility.

“My team-mate Matthieu Vaxiviere is a very strong driver and I will be able to learn a lot from him.”

Atoev looks set to step into the Teo Martin Motorsport team in the EuroFormula Open championship rather than into Formula V8 3.5, alongside fellow SMP Racing-backed Nikita Zlobin.