The GP3 Series has confirmed the team roster for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons, marking the arrival of two new entries to the junior championship.
GP3 acts as the third rung on the single seater ladder leading to Formula 1, and has helped to launch the careers of Esteban Gutierrez, Valtteri Bottas and Daniil Kvyat following their championship wins.
After unveiling a new car for the 2016 season at Monza last month, the series has now announced that the grid will still comprise of eight teams running three drivers for the next three years.
Established French racing team DAMS will join the championship in 2016 in place of its Formula Renault 3.5 programme that will be closed at the end of the current season.
DAMS is joined on the grid by Virtuosi Racing, which currently manages the RUSSIAN TIME team in GP2. These arrivals balance out the loss of Carlin and Status Grand Prix from GP3.
“I am very pleased to reveal the names of the eight teams that have been given an entry for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons,” series CEO Bruno Michel said. “The GP3 Series has grown into one of the most important motorsport categories, and through six strong seasons it has consolidated its position as a stepping stone to GP2 and Formula 1.
“In order to give more support to our teams in today’s challenging economic environment, we decided to limit the entries to eight (with three cars per outfit), and favour quality over quantity. We will reassess our position should the situation changes.
“We opted to continue with most of the existing GP3 teams but we also wanted to bring new blood which is why I’m happy to welcome both DAMS and Virtuosi Racing who have been very successful in other categories. Five of the chosen teams run also in GP2 thus creating a natural path between our two series.
“Next on our agenda is working on the 2016 calendar with the target of racing alongside GP2 and F1 at each round. In the meantime, we continue to focus on our development test programme. So far, the results have shown that we will have a very competitive and reliable car which will make for another fiercely contested and entertaining season.”
After its departure from GP3 for 2016 was confirmed, Carlin released its own statement explaining its decision and affirming its commitment to its existing GP2 programme.
“In order to support our various teams in today’s challenging economic environment, we decided to reassess the championships in which Carlin competes next season,” the team said.
“We thank the GP3 Series organisers for six great years, during which time the team have won both the teams’ and drivers’ titles and taken numerous race wins. We remain completely dedicated to our GP2 team for next season and the foreseeable future.”
GP3 Teams – 2016-2018
Arden International (GBR)
ART Grand Prix (FRA)
Campos Racing (ESP)
Jenzer Motorsport (SUI)
Koiranen GP (FIN)
Virtuosi Racing (GBR)