Caldarelli leaves Tech 1
|By Jamie O'Leary||Thursday, June 2nd 2011, 09:54 GMT|
GP3 front-runner Andrea Caldarelli has quit his drive with Tech 1 Racing in order to focus on his Formula Nippon commitments for the rest of the year, and has been replaced by Thomas Hylkema.
The Toyota-backed Italian lies second in the GP3 standings, two points behind Nigel Melker, but is switching championships to race for the Kondo Racing team in Japan, which is also supported by Toyota.
"It gives our heartstrings a bit of a tug to see Andrea leaving, but that's how it is," said Tech 1 boss Simon Abadie.
"He couldn't turn down an offer from a manufacturer like Toyota and we fully understand his position. Toyota has been backing him for several years and it's good for his career to go to Japan to race.
"He's currently second in GP3 and he's contributed a lot to our team. He's been one of the stalwarts since the start of the season, and we've moved up a step with him."
Dutchman Hylkema, 22, has taken over Caldarelli's seat. Hylkema had his first test for the team at the Hungaroring on Wednesday and wound up 1.8s off the pace in 28th place.