Last year’s Auto GP runner-up Kimiya Sato has moved to the GP2 Series, signing with the returning Campos Racing.
Sato, who also tested for Sauber Formula One team in 2013, will line up alongside French youngster Arthur Pic, completing the driver pairing for the Spanish squad.
While Sato has achieved some notable results in lower championships, the 24-year-old Japanese racer has yet to compete in any of the top-level junior categories.
Until now, Sato’s finest seasons have come in the All-Japan Formula 3 National Class (2nd), German Formula 3 (3rd) and Auto GP (2nd). Worthy performances indeed in their own right, but at the same time, they fall short of the quality embraced by other national and international competitions.
On the other hand, Sato displayed a lot of skill while handling the powerful Auto GP machines, during which he took a highly regarded victory in almost flood-like conditions at Monza last March.
Team boss Adrián Campos believes Sato has what it takes to make another step forward. “I do believe he will make a leap forward in the quality. We shall give the maximum support to Kimiya, to get the targets which we all set out.”
Sato comes to Campos from Auto GP’s Euronova squad – a team headed by former racers Vincenzo Sospiri and Taki Inoue – the latter whom joined the Euronova squad in order to help promote and develop Japanese drivers in Europe. “I would like to thank Taki Inoue and Vincenzo Sospiri for the faith placed in us. I know them for years, and they are experienced people. Campos Racing will honor the confidence vested in us.”
For Sato, the Japanese pilot believes the time is right for his move to the top feeder category. “GP2 was always the logical next step for me […] and I am very pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement with a top team like Campos. I’m really looking forward to working with Adrian and his team – already we have a very good feeling and I think it really helps to have a team boss who has been a successful driver himself and can better understand things from the drivers’ point of view.”