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)