Force India join the GP3 grid

The 2014 Force India F1 car

The 2014 Force India F1 car

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The Silverstone-based Sahara Force India team has announced they will further extend their driver development programme for the 2014 season by entering the GP3 Series in partnership with the German Hilmer Motorsport team.

The expanded programme, which will see Hilmer compete in the series with three cars under Sahara Force India colours, follows a similar deal for the GP2 series. Sahara Force India’s new GP3 schedule will join its successful Academy programme to represents a logical step towards creating a full motorsport ladder for talented drivers.

The GP3 team, wearing the colours of the local F1 team, will make its first on-track appearance during a test at the Jerez track in Spain early next month before making its racing debut in Barcelona at the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

Vijay Mallya, owner and Chief Executive Officer of Sahara Force India, said: “Our partnership with Hilmer to field a GP3 team reaffirms Sahara Force India’s commitment towards developing a new generation of drivers.

“Combined with our support for grassroots karting, our presence in GP3 and GP2 lends valuable support to up-and-coming racers and will help them to realise their potential.”

Franz Hilmer, boss of Hilmer Motorsport, added: “We are very happy to announce the expansion of our collaboration with the Silverstone-based Sahara Force India team.

“After the partnership with our GP2 team we are very proud that our GP3 team will also contest under the Sahara Force India banner.

“It’s a big but also logical step for us in the development of ambitious talents and with teams in GP2 and GP3 we are present in the two major junior formulas. We offer an ideal platform to young drivers and our target is to prepare them as effectively as possible on their way to the pinnacle of motor racing.”

The team have yet to confirm a driver line-up for their three cars but confirmed that an announcement would be made shortly.

Silverstone’s Status Grand Prix will also field three cars in the GP3 Series. British driver Nick Yelloly will lead the team’s assault on the 2014 season, and the team have confirmed that for the approaching season the cars will race in their traditional black and green colours. Two further drivers will join Yelloly for the new season, although the identity of the duo are currently unknown.