Scotland’s Lewis Williamson is to carry the momentum from his McLaren Autosport BRDC award victory into the new season with a drive in the GP3 Series, courtesy of MW Arden.
The 21-year-old will join fellow Brits Alexander Sims, Nick Yelloly and James Calado in the championship, which supports eight of the European Formula One races starting at Istanbul in May.
MW Arden team manager Julian Rouse said he expected Williamson to be competitive alongside team-mates Simon Trummer and Mitch Evans: “I know Lewis will fit into the team straight away and he completes a very exciting driver line up for us this year.
“We are absolutely delighted to have him working with us – he is obviously a driver with a huge amount of talent and application. He has proven time and time again how quickly he can develop and adapt as a driver, so I have every confidence he will enter into his first season of racing in a European championship being very competitive right from the start.”
So far in his career Williamson has combined racing at circuits across the UK with an engineering apprenticeship in the remote Scottish Highlands, where he lives. He races with the support of Highland Arena, an organisation founded to promote sporting talent in the north of Scotland.
He said: “It is great to be part of MW Arden for 2011 and to get the chance to compete in the GP3 Championship. I am very grateful to the team and to Highland Arena for making this possible. They have done a great job from both sides, now it is my chance to do my bit and give 110 per cent to it.”
Last season Williamson raced for Manor Competition in Formula Renault UK. He won five times, including a clean sweep of both races during the Silverstone Arena weekend, on his way to a runner-up finish in the championship behind Tom Blomqvist.
Both he and Blomquist were rewarded with nominations for the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, alongside Luciano Bacheta, Jack Harvey, Scott Malvern, and Nigel Moore, and it was the Scotsman who triumphed on the assessment day to win the £100,000 prize and the test with the McLaren F1 team.
He followed that up with a successful GP3 test in Estoril, where he took one of the Atech cars to the top of the timesheets in two separate sessions.