GP2: Vandoorne and Izawa join ART Grand Prix for 2014
23 January, 2014
Press Release: ART Grand Prix are pleased to announce today the signing of a brand new and exciting partnership agreement with McLaren and Honda for the upcoming GP2 Series.
The GP2 Series, that runs as a curtain raiser for the FIA Formula One World Championship heads into its tenth season in 2014 and now, with two of the biggest names in high performance auto sport, McLaren and Honda, ART Grand Prix are confident of strengthening their overall structure as they look to reconnect with their very rich past successes.
For the 10th anniversary of their participation in the GP2 Series, of which they won the first season, the ART Grand Prix cars will be entrusted to two new faces, Stoffel Vandoorne and Takuya Izawa. At just 21, Stoffel, who joined the McLaren Young Driver Program in April of 2013, has risen brilliantly through the ranks of motorsport.
Champion in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 in 2012, he finished runner up in Formula Renault 3.5 last season, with four wins and 10 podium finishes. By his side, Takuya Izawa brings the experience of multiple disciplines in which he has partaken. Together with Honda, he has built a track record of both car and endurance racing.
Stoffel Vandoorne: “I’m very excited to have been selected to race for the ART GP2 team for 2014. Having won the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 in 2012, and having finished second in the World Series by Renault 3.5 in 2013, I feel I’m making good progress towards my ultimate goal: Formula 1. GP2 is the prime feeder series for Formula 1, and GP2 cars are powerful and fast. ART has an excellent track record in GP2, and I’m very grateful to Nicolas Todt and Frederic Vasseur, the team’s owners, for giving me this opportunity. ART has won the GP2 series three times in the past – with Nico Rosberg in 2005, with Lewis Hamilton in 2006, and with Nico Hulkenberg in 2009 – and all three of those drivers have gone on to become Formula 1 drivers. Two of them, Lewis and Nico, have gone on to win Formula 1 grands prix, and one of them, Lewis, has gone on to win a Formula 1 world championship. So, obviously, I’m definitely not making any predictions, and I’m certainly not under-estimating the drivers I’ll be racing in GP2 this year, many of whom are very good indeed, but as I say I’ll be aiming to win with ART and I very much hope that that success will help me on my way to my ultimate goal: Formula 1.”
Takuya Izawa: “Staring this season, I am participating in the GP2 Series where the world’s top drivers compete hard and where a number of F1 drivers have been generated. I am feeling emotions, which I never felt before. This will be a big challenge for me. However, understanding the importance of what comes beyond this challenge, I view it as a project where I definitely have to succeed. Of course, I feel pressure. However, I should be confident with what I learned during the six years I competed in the top category in Japan and I will take a new step forward toward global racing as a driver who inherited Honda’s Challenging Spirit. I am grateful for Honda for giving me this opportunity and for all people who supported me to this date. Please continue your warm support.”
Frédéric Vasseur : “It’s a bit of a homecoming in some respects and I am truly delighted to be working hand in hand with McLaren and Honda. ART Grand Prix is also very happy to have two talented drivers, both intelligent and determined. This is a new beginning and our aim will be displayed as well as it was at our first start in GP2: by winning both titles.”