Reigning GP3 Series Champions Lotus GP finalised their 2012 line-up on Friday when they added former-Star Mazda champion Conor Daly to their roster.
Daly will be partnering Aaro Vainio and Daniel Abt as the Anglo-French-Malaysian aim to make it three titles in a row.
The 20-year-old, who tested for Lotus toward the end of 2011, returned to the squad for the first pre-season test in Estoril last week. With more mileage under his belt, Daly showed impressive speed throughout the test, underlining his rising confidence.
“I am very pleased to be with the Lotus GP team in 2012! The goal in the off-season was to try and put myself in the best position to try and win the championship this year and I have no doubt that I’ve got the best chance to do so with Lotus GP.
“I was fortunate enough to test with the team at the end of 2011 and was extremely happy with what I was able to learn. I now look forward to learning more during pre-season testing from the team and my new teammates.”
Last, year, the American displayed improving pace throughout the season, eventually claiming 10 points with Carlin Motorsport to finish 17th overall. Lotus GP founder and Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur, noted much the same:
“Lotus GP closely followed Conor Daly’s progress in 2011 because he was one of our competitors in the GP3 Series. His second half of the season was marked by strong progress in his performance and his pure racing speed in particular drew our attention.
“During the off-season tests, we found him to be a charming young driver who is very motivated by his work and his progress in a series which is ultra competitive. The quality of his work and his margin of progress convinced us that he is the man that Lotus GP needed to round out its 2012 line-up.”
Daly twinned his GP3 campaign with a drive in the Indy Lights Series for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, taking one win and a podium in five events.