Honda backed driver, Nirei Fukuzumi, will remain in GP3 Series in 2017 with ART Grand Prix.

Nirei Fukuzumi, fourth of the 2015 all-Japan F3 championship behind 2015 and 2016 champions, made his debuts in Europe in GP3 Series last season with ART Grand Prix. Despite several mistakes, like in Monza when he collided with his teammate and championship leader Charles Leclerc, Fukuzumi used that year as a learning curve for European racing and finished 7th overall. He comments:

“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.”

With Fukuzumi re-signing in GP3 and also Nobuharu Matsushita in GP2, ART Grand Prix continue their partenership with Honda and McLaren that they started in 2015. Sébastien Philippe, ART GP’s team manager, comments:

“ART Grand Prix is delighted to extend its partnership with Nirei. Since his first steps in the GP3 Series and in Europe, he showed how dedicated and motivated he is, and that he can adapt very quickly to a new culture and working environment. Nirei 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.”

Fukuzumi should be able to express his driving style more now that he knows the circuits and free from the internal competition between Leclerc and Albon. He will team up with British rookie George Russell who also appears as a championship contender.