GP2: Evans and Markelov retained by Russian Time

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RT Russian Time has become the latest team to confirm its line-up for the forthcoming GP2 Series season, announcing that it will retain Mitch Evans and Artem Markelov for 2015.

Evans led the team’s charge in 2014, picking up 174 of its 180 points en route to fourth place in the drivers’ championship with two wins and four podium finishes.

Now entering his third season in GP2, the New Zealander is hoping to mount a serious challenge for the title with Russian Time.

“I’m greatly looking forward to another GP2 season with Russian Time in what looks like being another very competitive year,” Evans said in a statement. “We proved we had race-winning capability in 2014 and the goal has to be to build on that, put together a consistent programme and hopefully challenge for the championship.”

Markelov only scored six points in his debut season, but is hoping for a better campaign after finding his feet in 2014 following the step up from German F3.

“I’m happy to be able to announce a second season of GP2 with Russian Time in an unchanged driver line-up,” Markelov said. “It was a good environment in which to learn and Mitch is obviously a strong yardstick for me.

“Looking back at 2014, the series was a sizeable jump from F3 and my qualifying pace and getting the best out of the tires in that situation is the area I will be concentrating on.”

Evans will be hoping to repeat his title-winning escapades from GP3 in 2012, but he will need to overcome championship favorite and McLaren junior Stoffel Vandoorne this year. Other likely protagonists include Ferrari protege Raffaele Marciello, Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly and Williams development driver Alex Lynn, creating a very open fight at the front of the field.

The first GP2 pre-season test kicks off in Bahrain on March 9.