Vicky Piria becomes first female driver in GP3
18 February 2012 – 18 year old Italian Vicky Piria will be driving for newly formed Trident Racing in GP3 through the coming season. Piria becomes the first woman to race in the series, despite a number of female drivers testing previously.
She is the first of the team's three drivers to be selected for the 2012 season with Team Owner Maurizio Salvadori yet to announce her team-mates. Piria steps up from Formula Abarth where she raced in the European and Italian series with a best finish of 14th place at the Autodromo dell'Umbria in Magione.
“After ending the 2011 F.Abarth season I had the chance to test a Formula 3 car as I saw that as a possible chance for my open-wheel career," Piria said. "When Trident Racing explained me the details of their GP3 Series program though, I immediately known that it was the right thing to do for me.
"I know that there will be many tough aspects to overcome, especially because there will be a lot of more experienced drivers among my opponents. That said, I feel no pressure. I know I can afford a learning year and I'm aware that my goal for 2012 will be to improve step-by-step every lap. I want to learn the tracks, which are almost unknown to me, and a car that I haven't tried before."
Commenting on how contract negations with the team took place, Piria stated: "We immediately got in touch with each other and I wasn't scared at all in signing with a team I never tested with."
Piria's move takes her a step closer towards Formula 1 at a time when the highest category lacks any Italian blood for the first time in 42 years. She said: "I'm excited by the idea of racing in the same events of Formula 1, and I believe that every driver aiming at the most prestigious series in the world knows that GP3 and GP2 are some true stepping stones."
The GP3 season kicks off on the 12th May at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.