It’s been a nice break from birthdays. The first two in May are Vittorio Ghirelli, an Italian GP3 driver for Jenzer Motorsport, and Ivan Lukashevich, a Russian GP3 driver for Status Grand Prix.
Only 17 years old, Vittorio’s already in his second season of the series, though last year he finished 34th with 0 points and his best finish was 15th. That was for Atech CRS GP. He was also struck down with two DNS and two retirements. He also took part in Italian F3 and a couple of FR 2.0 Italy races. In Karting he did better, having won the Italian Open Masters in 2009.
Vittorio’s young age suggests he has plenty of time left to improve, and another full season of GP3 should help him. He has the help of his dad Fabio taking care of management, as well as a couple of mechanics to help out, but he has had to be careful and manage his time between school and racing. Like every driver, his goal is GP2 and Formula One. His website is confusing, being in Italian, but if you can get Google to translate it then it provides some interesting information as well as photos and videos. Of all the GP3 drivers in the last weekend, unfortunately he did the worst, and goes into the rest of the year from the bottom of the table.
20-year-old Ivan drives for Status despite being part of the Marussia Motors driver development programme (so maybe he’ll end up driving for Virgin one day). After karting he moved into Formula Ford for 2006. He finished 12th, then moved into Formula Palmer Audi for 2007 and 2008. Though he had no wins, he had 2 fastest laps and 2 podiums in 2008, finishing 10th.
Sponsorship problems kept Ivan out of F1 for 2009, but in 2010 Status picked him up for GP3. He completed the entire season for the team, gaining no points and finishing 13th in his best race. But he returns to the team hopeful for the 2011 season. Ivan stands 16th with no points in the GP3 drivers’ championship, but has had finished both race with a best finish of 14th.