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Ellinas confirmed for 2013 season with Marussia Manor

by Peter Allen

Photo: Malcolm Griffiths/GP3 Series Media Service

Tio Ellinas has had his seat with Marussia Manor Racing in this year’s GP3 Series confirmed by the team.

The Cypriot finished eighth in his rookie season in GP3 in 2012 with the Marussia Manor team, clinching his maiden victory in the last race of the season as part of a superb performance at the Monza finale. As the team’s top driver last year, he was awarded an F1 test with Marussia which he will undertake later this year.

Ellinas has been fast during winter testing, topping two of the four sessions at Silverstone earlier this month, but faced an anxious wait for his seat to be confirmed as he searched for additional sponsorship.

He has now been confirmed for the entire season, which starts at Barcelona next month. He joins Dino Zamparelli confirmed in the team’s line-up, with Nick Cassidy having driven the third car for much of testing.

“I am delighted that I will be returning with Marussia Manor Racing for a second season,” said Ellinas. ” The new GP3 car is fantastic to drive and I think the racing will be very exciting and highly competitive.?After a strong end to the season in 2012 and a good winter test programme, I head to the first race at Barcelona full of confidence.?It is going to be an interesting season.”

Marussia F1 chief John Booth added: “Tio has a rare natural ability; certainly up there with the best of the drivers who have graduated through our junior programme.? The GP3 Series is looking very strong this year, the new car is a big step forward and the grid is full of the best young talent.

“It will be a tough season but we hope our preparations and strong driver line-up will put us in a good position to challenge for the Championship.? The Team can?t wait to get started in Barcelona next month and we on the F1 Team pit wall will be following Tio?s progress with great interest.”