ART Grand Prix is pleased to announce the signing of Nobuharu Matsushita and Nirei Fukuzumi to its 2017 campaign. Both drivers are no stranger to the French based squad with it being their third and second successive season respectively with them, the former in GP2, the latter in GP3.
Nobuharu Matsushita enjoyed some successes with ART Grand Prix in 2015 and took another step in 2016 where he scored 23.5 points more than his maiden season. He also took his work with the team to a new level, improving his technical skills as well as tyre and qualifying management. ART Grand Prix is confident that Nobu will build on his two successful years in the GP2 Series to help the team in their fight for the championship.
Nirei Fukuzumi secured three podium finishes with the team in 2016, his first coming in his debut race. He finished 7th overall of his maiden season in GP3 series. Nirei ended last year by posting impressive lap times during the post season tests in Abu Dhabi where he was undefeated on his sole day of running. His goal will be to continue to grow and help the team fight for their 7th championship title.
“I am happy to be able to race in GP2 Series again, and very honoured to work with ART Grand Prix for a third consecutive season. It is a fantastic team that helped me to settle in a brand new environment back in 2015 but also allowed me to grow as a driver and to secure a win and several podiums during my first year in the series. I hope I will be able to bring them more wins this season and to help them to fight for the championship. I would like to thank Honda for continuously giving me this great opportunity. I am ready to make this season a great one. I cannot wait for the season to start.”
“I'm really happy and excited to race in GP3 series this year again. I learned a lot last year thanks to ART Grand Prix and I feel at home in the team. I know I can count on ART Grand Prix to keep improving and to have the best package and strategies in 2017. Now that I have the knowledge of the circuits, the series and the car I feel I have all the assets to fight for wins and for the championship.”
“ART Grand Prix is delighted to extend its partnership with Nobuharu and Nirei. Since their first steps in GP2 and GP3 Series respectively and in Europe, they showed how dedicated and motivated they are and that they can adapt very quickly to a new culture and working environment. Our collaboration has been very fruitful ever since their first years in the team with Nobu securing two wins, one being a prestigious victory in Monaco, as well as numerous podiums over last two years. He ended last year on a high with a podium in Yas Marina and I’m sure he will take it from there to start this season with the same momentum and to be a regular front runner and championship contender. Nirei also had a promising year in 2016 with three podiums under his belt and strong fights with the frontrunners. He has some invaluable experience that should help him make a step forward and fight for the title this year.”