Nick Cassidy secures Prema Powerteam 2016 European F3 seat

Reigning Japanese Formula 3 champion Nick Cassidy is to contest the F3 European Championship alongside his promotion to Toyota's Super GT programme in Japan

Nick Cassidy secures Prema Powerteam 2016 European F3 seat

The 21-year-old New Zealander has been confirmed by top F3 squad Prema Powerteam, with which he contested two Euro F3 rounds in 2015 at Algarve and the Nurburgring.

Cassidy will join Lance Stroll, Maximilian Gunther and reigning Italian Formula 4 champion Ralf Aron at Prema, having completed several winter tests alongside them in the run-up to Christmas.

This will be the first properly funded European campaign for Cassidy, the two-time NZ Toyota Racing Series champion having started two separate Formula Renault Eurocup campaigns, which both petered out due to lack of finance.

He made a one-off F3 debut with EuroInternational in 2013, also contesting a round with Carlin later in the season, while in 2014 he competed in two Euro F3 events with T-Sport as a build-up to the Macau Grand Prix, where he finished third for his career breakthrough result.

Prema boss Rene Rosin said: "We could not be more satisfied with the arrival of Cassidy, who has shown outstanding driving skills, especially behind the wheel of F3 cars.

"When we had an open seat at the end of last season, I did not have a single doubt about having him in our team - he did a really good job straight away and he showed the attitude needed to be a part of Prema."

Cassidy's confirmation last week with the Super GT line-up of TOM'S, the leading team of Toyota brand Lexus, means that he will partner Daisuke Ito alongside the sister car of James Rossiter and Ryo Hirakawa.

"It's going to be a busy year for me travelling between Europe and Japan, but after a great year last year I feel that I'm more than prepared," said Cassidy.

"Ever since my first introduction to Prema last year I have felt very welcome, and really enjoy the family atmosphere at the team."

There is just one clash between the F3 and Super GT calendars, with the May F3 round at the Red Bull Ring on the same weekend as the GT race at Autopolis.

Cassidy would be expected to be committed to his manufacturer drive in Japan, potentially freeing up a Prema seat for the weekend or leaving the Italian team with three cars for the Austrian event.

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