Hirate to drive for Trident in 2007

Kohei Hirate will drive for the Trident Racing GP2 team in 2007, the outfit announced today

Hirate to drive for Trident in 2007

Hirate is backed by Toyota Motorsport as part of their young drivers programme, and the 20 years old Japanese driver competed in the F3 Euro Series this year, finishing third in the overall points standing.

Trident joined the GP2 grid last year with Andreas Zuber and Gianmaria Bruni as their drivers.

"We are very pleased to announce the partnership with Toyota Motorsport and to have the opportunity to enter the next GP2 Series season with Kohei Hirate," commented Trident principal Alessandro Alunni Bravi, who also thanked Toyota Motorsport for putting their faith in his year-old team.

"Our target now is to fulfil Toyota's expectations with great professionalism and determination. From our first contact at Paul Ricard circuit, Kohei Hirate has shown very good performance: we place great trust in him."

Hirate, who will test for Trident at Valencia before the end of the year, stated: "I am happy to be stepping up to GP2 after two years of F3 driving.

"And I am also glad to be back in an Italian team, where I started my race-career in Europe. It is a good coincidence and feel like back to my home.

"I have just started to work with the team from the second Paul Ricard testing and will it be nice to be part of the team officially from next the Valencia testing, to build up the relationships.

"I can't wait for the new start of the new season with Trident Racing."

Yoshinori Arimatsu, Manager TDP program, Toyota Motorsport commented: "I am happy to have agreed the new partnership with Trident Racing regarding Toyota Drivers Programme.

"Trident have shown brilliant performance from their very first year in the [GP2] series through 2006 season, and at the same time I have been surprised how big a commitment they have put in order to be in front.

"I am sure Kohei can contribute to their continuous improvements, which is the same goal of TDP, Kohei himself and Trident Racing."

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