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Williamson completes 2013 GP3 line-up with Bamboo

by Peter Allen

Photo: Malcolm Griffiths/GP3 Series Media Service

Lewis Williamson will race for Bamboo Engineering in the 2013 GP3 Series, completing a full 27-car field for the coming season.

The Scottish driver tested for Bamboo (and its predecessor Atech CRS) over the winter, setting quick times at both Estoril and Barcelona. He has now been given the team?s final race seat ahead of next weekend?s season opener at the Catalunya circuit.

It will mark a full-time return to GP3 for Williamson, who enjoyed a strong rookie season in 2011 with MW Arden, finishing eighth overall. That saw him become a proper member of the Red Bull Junior Team and move up to Formula Renault 3.5 for 2012, but he struggled during the early races together with the new Arden Caterham team and was dropped from the programme after just five races.

He was given the opportunity to return to GP3 for the second half of last season by Status Grand Prix, finishing half of his eight races in the points. He previously won the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award after finishing runner-up in Formula Renault UK in 2010.

?I?ve been involved in testing with Bamboo for all the sessions both in and out of the car and am relieved to be on the grid this season, plus it?s exciting signing at the last minute,? said the 23-year-old.

?Bamboo have given me a platform from which I have had some great testing results so I?m excited to race next week in, Catalunya. Bamboo are a professional outfit and I think we?re going to work very well together.?

Williamson joins Formula Renault 2.0 graduate Melville McKee and second-year driver Carmen Jorda at Bamboo.

?We?ve been impressed with Lewis from the start of the year and it?s good to have him complete our driver line-up,? said team chief Richard Coleman. ?It will be great to see Lewis show the true potential of the Bamboo Engineering GP3 car and put us up there in our first season.?

Earlier, Ryan Cullen was announced as Marussia Manor?s third driver. The Irishman had tested with Status and Bamboo over the winter, but now joins Tio Ellinas and Dino Zamparelli at that Marussia Manor team. Cullen makes the step up from British Formula Ford, where he finished sixth last year in his first season of car racing.

Toyota Racing Series champion Nick Cassidy had spent much of pre-season testing in the third Marussia car, but was unable to secure the finances to race for the team this season.