About a year ago, iSport International released the information that it was experiencing some unfortunate issues in terms of financial support and as a result, it would be choosing to take a bit of a breather from the Grand Prix 2 competition, which constitutes the top series of contest in the sport.
The Norfolk based Carlton Rode group forged a deal with Russian Igor Mazepa who purchased the assets and agreed to manage the team under the banner of Russian Time by the Motopark squad from Germany. Sam Bird, the British racer, was chosen to lead the squad along with second car driver, and between the two of them, they brought the team to victory. Sam Bird came quite close to securing the title for drivers as well but fell marginally short with five races won.
Recently, with the unexpected death of Mazepa at the young age of 40, Motopark decided to withdraw its support and iSport Management was approached to assume responsibility for the team once again.
iSport says that the team will be managed by key members of the staff that were formerly involved and some new members will also be joining the team to support them as they move forward in the upcoming year. The team is planning to check out the cars that are currently in Abu Dhabi and will start testing for the season before they move on to the tracks in Bahrain.
Joining the team will be rookie Artem Markelov from Russian and Mitch Evans from New Zealand who was mentored by Mark Webber of the Grand Prix. Evans is 19 and has claimed the GP3 title in 2012. This will be his second year racing in this series and he’s hoping to better his win record from last year.
Markelov formerly raced in the ATS Formula 3 series in Germany and tried out the GP2 cars late in the season last year when he participated in some test runs toward the end of the season. In Abu Dhabi the testing began with Evans ranking the second fastest run and the rookie was set back in 20th place. On the second day, Jolyon Palmer ranked first with Evans testing in third and he almost rounded out day 3 as the top racer of the day but in the end, Arthur Pic snagged it out from under him.
Evans tweeted happily about his results stating that his finishing was second overall and that he was very happy with his performance. He said he was looking forward to the events coming up in Bahrain. Markelov rounded out the testing session with a 16th place finish, and missed finishing in the top 10 on day two.
iSport Management clearly expresses its deep gratitude to everyone that has supported them throughout their hiatus over the last year and they are delighted to see how many supporters are responding positively to the new announcement. They say that they are humbled by the reaction of those wishing them well.