Status GP all set for first test of GP3′s new-generation racer at Estoril
February 21, 2013 by Status Grand Prix
Status Grand Prix is all set for the first test of the second-generation GP3 Series car, which takes place over three days at Estoril in Portugal on Wednesday to Friday, February 20th to 22nd.
The team will run Swede Jimmy Eriksson, already confirmed as a Status GP driver for 2013, and Briton Josh Webster on all three days. The team’s other car will be tested by China’s Adderly Fong for the first day and a half, before Briton Melville McKee drives on Thursday afternoon and Friday.
Eriksson, the reigning German Formula 3 champion, is the only one of Status GP’s quartet never to have driven a GP3 car. “It should be really fun to get in the car and do the three days at Estoril,” he said. “OK, I have never driven a GP3 car before but I have driven here in F3.
“I’m really aiming for a strong season. I know it will be really tough with it being my first year in GP3, and the field is looking strong, but I am very much looking forward to it.”
Webster, the runner-up in the 2011 and 2012 Formula Renault BARC championships, had a taster of GP3 at Jerez in Spain last autumn. “The car is new, the engine is new and I’m pretty excited,” he said.
“There’s an enormous buzz everywhere. For the first day and a half we’ll be making sure everything is OK and then the plan is to start pushing towards the end of the second day and see where we’re at.”
Fong, an F3 graduate who was runner-up in last year’s Audi R8 LMS Cup in China, has driven a GP3 car at Estoril. “I’ve known all about Status GP for a while,” he said, “especially when my mechanic from German F3 joined the team!
“I was interested in driving with them anyway and then they contacted me, so everything clicked. I’ve done GT racing but I hope to continue in formula cars – there’s nothing like the sensation of driving them.”
McKee, like Webster, took part in the Jerez GP3 test last year. A leading contender in the Formula Renault Eurocup last season, he is hoping to graduate full-time to GP3 in 2013. “That is very much what I’m looking towards,” he said.
“The car is looking great already and I’m really excited to be in it. Hopefully I can get to grips with it early on. I’m really looking forward to working with Status GP, and GP3 is where I want to be this season.”
After Estoril, the teams will continue their testing of the new, 400bhp V6-engined racer before the opening round of the GP3 Series, supporting the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on May 10th-12th.