GP2: Several teams, drivers announced for 2016 season

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It’s been a busy couple days of GP2 Series news, with more teams and drivers confirmed ahead of the 2016 season. Over the weekend, Jordan King was confirmed with Racing Engineering, and theres’ been a number announcements since.

Evans, Gelael, Jagonya Ayam join Campos 

Mitch Evans is set for his fourth season of GP2. The 21-year-old Kiwi has a best finish of fourth in the championship in 2014, and came fifth last year in his second season with the Russian Time team. He’ll move to Campos Racing, joined by Sean Gelael, the Indonesian driver who debuted last year with Carlin.

Gelael’s Jagonya Ayam support will join the team for the next two seasons, following an agreement reached in Indonesia. The team will now be known as Jagonya Ayam Campos Racing.

Both Evans and Gelael have made occasional sports car starts in the last year or so as they’ve sought to advance their careers. Evans won his FIA WEC debut with Jota Sport in LMP2 at Spa-Francorchamps and then was second in class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Gelael has raced with the Jagonya Ayam (Indonesian KFC) branding in the Asian Le Mans Series over the winter.

Giovinazzi steps up with PREMA Powerteam

Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi moves up from the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, where he finished second to Felix Rosenqvist, will advance into GP2 with the PREMA Powerteam. PREMA, a star team in F3 for more than a decade, steps up into GP2 itself, taking over what had been the Lazarus team.

Giovinazzi, incidentally, had been in the Jagonya Ayam with Carlin team last year in F3, but lost out to PREMA’s Rosenqvist last year.

Russian Time adds Marciello with Markelov

Ferrari academy veteran Raffaele Marciello, who served as Sauber F1’s reserve driver last year, will switch to Russian Time to replace Evans for his third GP2 season. He’s finished eighth and seventh in the championship the last two years with Racing Engineering and Trident, respectively. Artem Markelov, the Russian driver, will be back for his third season, all with Russian Time.

Testing schedule announced

GP2 has also released the schedule for its two preseason tests. Testing will take place in Spain, in Barcelona, March 9-11 and at Jerez, March 29-31.

Breakdown of teams/drivers thus far

Following these confirmations, here’s how the GP2 Series grid looks thus far for 2016:

  • ART Grand Prix: 1-TBA, 2-Sergey Sirotkin
  • Racing Engineering: 3-Jordan King, 4-TBA
  • DAMS: 5-Alex Lynn, 6-Nicholas Latifi
  • Jagonya Ayam Campos Racing: 7-Mitch Evans, 8-Sean Gelael
  • Russian Time: 9-Raffaele Marciello, 10-Artem Markelov
  • PREMA Powerteam: 20-Antonio Giovinazzi, 21-TBA

All these seats are TBA:

  • Rapax (Nos. 11, 12)
  • Trident (14, 15)
  • Status Grand Prix (16, 17)
  • Carlin (18, 19)
  • MP Motorsport (22, 23)
  • Arden International (24, 25)
  • TBA (26, 27)

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.