The GP3 Series has announced the eight teams that will contest its 2016-18 seasons, with two new squads on the grid replacing a pair of departures.
Single-seater powerhouse DAMS – the reigning GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 champion – and Virtuosi Racing, which runs the Russian Time GP2 outfit, have signed up to join the series for the first time.
Making way is Carlin – which has turned its attention to Indy Lights – and which won last year’s title with Alex Lynn.
Also departing is 2010 teams’ championship runner-up Status, which graduated to GP2 this year, and like Carlin has won nine previous races in the category.
Six teams staying on
Staying on for the next three-year cycle are Arden International, ART Grand Prix, Campos Racing, Jenzer Motorsport, Koiranen GP and Trident.
The grid will comprise two French outfits, two British, one Spanish, one Swiss, one Finnish and one Italian. Each team will be allowed to line up a maximum of three cars and they will receive their GP3/16 cars at the beginning of next year.
GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel said, "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.
“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.
“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.
"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.”