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ART signs Alfonso Celis as first GP3 driver for 2015

by Peter Allen
Alfonso Celis

Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service

Alfonso Celis has become the first driver to be confirmed for a seat on the 2015 GP3 Series grid after securing a deal with ART Grand Prix.

The 18-year-old Mexican competed in the series for Status Grand Prix in 2014, finishing 21st in the standings after scoring two points for seventh place in race two in Sochi.

He then spent two days testing with ART in Abu Dhabi after the end of the season.

?I’m very excited to finally announce that I will be racing with ART Grand Prix in the 2015 GP3 Series season,” said Celis, who spent seasons in the Formula BMW Talent Cup and Formula Renault 2.0 NEC prior to last year.

“This is something we have been working on for a long time and it all came together after I tested their car at Abu Dhabi after the last race of the season. There’s no need to say much about the quality of the ART team, because all you have to do is look at the F1 grid and you’ll see that most of the drivers have raced here in the past, including my friend and fellow Mexican, Esteban Guti?rrez.

“After meeting the team and driving their car I am confident that I will be at the forefront fighting for wins with them this year. This will be my second season in GP3, and It will make a huge difference for me as I will be familiar with the tracks, the tyres, and the cars from the beginning of the season.”

Team manager Sebastien Philippe added: ?Alfonso has a typical profile of a driver who can grow enormously in 2015. After his first GP3 season in 2014, he knows the series, the circuits and the car. Moreover, despite his young age he made his mark far from home and has blossomed in the European environment.

“Finally, the tests he conducted late last year in Abu Dhabi with ART Grand Prix were very encouraging with a top six finish on the last day with upward timing and technical progress.?