Russian Time will expand into the GP3 Series for 2014, taking the place of Bamboo Engineering.
The team took over iSport’s GP2 entry at the start of this season and has had a successful maiden campaign, leading the teams’ championship and with driver Sam Bird in contention for the drivers’ title.
They had been eyeing a move into GP3, and will do so as a replacement for Bamboo, leaving the championship with nine teams. Bamboo themselves only joined the category at the start of this year after taking over the Atech CRS entry and sit sixth in the teams’ standings with a win at the Nurburgring courtesy of Melville McKee.
Russian Time will make their debut in the post-season tests after the Abu Dhabi round in November.
“We?re pleased to welcome Russian Time to GP3 Series for the next two seasons,” said category chief Bruno Michel. “Their rookie year in GP2 Series in 2013 has been extremely strong so far with five wins, three podium finishes and three pole positions. They?re currently leading the teams? standings with only one round left in the season. I am confident they will put together a GP3 team that will be ready and competitive for this new challenge. I would like to thank Bamboo Engineering and wish them the best of success in the future.?
Russian Time boss Igor Mazepa added: “We?re very happy to be joining the GP3 Series next season and I would like to thank the organisers for this great opportunity. We?ve had a very successful first season in GP2 Series in 2013 in our first year. Our objective was to be fighting for the Teams? title and that?s what we will be doing in Abu Dhabi next month. We?re looking forward to that same kind of success in GP3 in 2014 and 2015. We will be working hard towards that starting with the post-season tests at Yas Marina Circuit.”
Two drivers who could well feature in Russian Time’s GP3 programme are Marvin Kirchhofer and Artem Markelov. Both currently drive in German F3 for Motopark Academy, who run the Russian Time squad. Markelov is managed by Mazepa and his father is also involved in the Russian Time setup, while German F3 champion Kirchhofer is a protege of Motopark boss Timo Rumpfkeil.