Motorsport News - GP2
De Jong To Make GP2 Debut With Rapax
21st June 2012
AUTO GP competitor Daniël De Jong will make his debut in the high-profile GP2 Series this weekend, 23rd/24th June, at Valencia Street Circuit in Spain after signing a four-race deal with 2010 driver and team champions Rapax.
The promising 19-year-old, from Westmaas in The Netherlands, is to graduate to the FIA Formula One World Championship support category thanks to the continued backing of existing sponsors Karpack, Boix Europe and ECOCUPS.
Following the European Grand Prix weekend in Valencia, the Dutch teenager will also race in GP2 as part of the British Grand Prix meeting at Silverstone in the UK on 7th/8th July, at the Hungaroring in Hungary on 28th/29th July and at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on 1st/2nd September.
In addition to his newly announced programme in GP2, Daniël will complete the 2012 AUTO GP season with Manor MP Motorsport by racing in the final two events of that championship in Brazil, on 21st/22nd July, and in America on 22nd/23rd September.
“This is an exciting time for my career, I’m really happy to have been able to agree a deal with the guys at Rapax to make my GP2 debut and I’d like to take this chance to thank the team for giving me the opportunity”, he said, “We had a good GP2 test earlier in the year at Jerez but since then we’ve been focusing on AUTO GP.
“It’s going to be a really big challenge to step into the GP2 Series in the middle of the season but I can’t wait to get out there in Valencia, it’s a great opportunity for me. I know it’s going to be the biggest challenge of my career so far but I’m hoping we can do a good job and move forward from Valencia on – let’s see how it goes!”
Rapax Team, which is based in Veggiano in Italy, is one of the most successful squads in GP2 and took an incredible championship double in 2010 with the driver and team titles – the driver’s crown claimed by current Williams F1 Team driver, and Grand Prix winner, Pastor Maldonado.
As things currently stand, Daniël will race one of the Rapax V8-engined Dallaras at four of the seven remaining GP2 Series events, partnering Tom Dillmann. His first experience of the team’s Pirelli-shod car will come during the pre-event practice at Valencia Street Circuit on Friday, 22nd June, beginning at 12.00 (local time) with qualifying following at 16.00.
Daniël’s debut race in the GP2 Series will take place at 15.40 on Saturday, 23rd June, while race two of the weekend is scheduled for the morning of the European Grand Prix itself, starting at 10.35 on Sunday, 24th June.
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