After a promising maiden GP3 Series campaign last year, Ralph Boschung has made the move to front-running Finnish outfit Koiranen GP for 2016, thus continuing his bright career in the highly competitive championship.
Having secured 10 points-scoring results – including a superb podium at Silverstone – over the course of 2015, the 18-year-old Champery-born prospect finished the season as the highest-ranked Swiss driver in the championship standings. Looking ahead to 2016, Ralph has the opportunity to develop his experience and compete against another talented driver roster at Formula 1 weekends.
As a result of his new partnership with Koiranen GP, Ralph joins a highly professional organisation that consistently thrives at elite-level competition. Indeed, the team has scored at least one victory in every GP3 season it has contested, earning six since it joined the championship in 2013.
The Swiss ace has already gained first-hand experience of his new team’s work ethic at the first official pre-season tests in Estoril, Portugal, this week (22-24 March). At the same time, Boschung was also able to familiarise himself with the new-for-2016 single-seater GP3/16, which is powered by a 3.4-litre, 400 bhp V6 and features heavily revised aerodynamics intended to enhance driver safety and overtaking ability.
With championship rounds acting as the curtain-raisers for Grand Prix weekends, the GP3 Series attracts the brightest young talent in single-seater racing. Indeed, among Ralph’s opponents this season are new Ferrari Driver Academy members Charles Leclerc and Giuliano Alesi, as well as McLaren-supported driver Nyck de Vries.
The recently announced 2016 calendar will see Boschung compete at almost every European Formula 1 race weekend, with the first contest taking place in Barcelona. The GP3 Series will subsequently head to Malaysia for the first time in its history before the traditional season finale in Abu Dhabi, which, by coinciding with the closing round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, helps enhance the series’ reputation year after year.
“I am delighted to join Koiranen GP for my second season in the GP3 Series,” declared Boschung. “The team’s achievements from the past few years are impressive and make it very attractive for any young driver, so I can’t wait to start racing again.
“This first week of testing has been a very positive one, and I was also able to experience how much more downforce the new GP3/16 produces compared to the last chassis. Driving it is quite a physical challenge but, all things considered, it feels fantastic.
“I am really excited to continue racing in a category as competitive as GP3, and I hope to reach a pivotal point in my career by building on the solid base from last year. I would also like to thank JENZER MOTORSPORT for teaching me a lot during my first season.
“I would also like to extend a warm thanks to the Valais-based building company CP3, Moderntimes Hotel, Platinum Fighter Sales from Los Angeles, as well as my new sponsor PARC. Finally, I am extremely grateful to the members of ‘Club 50’ for their support, which is as strong as ever.”
After Estoril, Boschung and Koiranen GP will head to Valencia in Spain for the second official test session, which takes place on April 7/8. A third and final test will take place on April 20/21 at the Catalunya Circuit in Barcelona, which hosts the first round of this year’s GP3 Series campaign.
2016 GP3 Series calendar
1. Barcelona, Spain, May 13-15 2. Spielberg, Austria, July 1-3 3. Silverstone, Great Britain, July 8-10 4. Budapest, Hungary, July 22-24 5. Hockenheim, Germany, July 29-31 6. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, August 26-28 7. Monza, Italy, September 2-4 8. Sepang, Malaysia, September 30 – October 2 9. Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, November 25-27
Image copyright: Malcolm Griffiths/GP3 Series Media Service.