Mikhail Aleshin will become the first Russian to compete in Superleague Formula at Zolder next weekend. Aleshin, 24, will drive for new outfit Team Russia in a car run by the Atech Reid GP squad.
"It is great to be coming to Superleague Formula and to race for Russia," said Aleshin. "I've watched the series on TV and I've been told how good the cars are to drive.
"I know some of the guys on the grid and there are some very good racers in the championship. I'm confident that I will be quick straight away, and I hope to be challenging from the very beginning."
After winning the Formula Renault 3.5 title with Carlin last year, Aleshin graduated to the GP2 Asia Series with the team and looked set to race in the main series as well.
However, budgetary issues restricted him to just two rounds in addition to one-off FR3.5 and German F3 Cup appearances at the Hungaroring and Oschersleben, respectively.
Atech Reid team manager Anthony Reid believes that signing a driver of Aleshin's quality is a big boost for Superleague.
"Mikhail is a great signing for Atech Reid GP and Superleague Formula," said Reid. "Anyone who can match results with, and then beat a driver of the caliber of Daniel Ricciardo is certainly going to be a contender. It's great that as a championship we can attract drivers like Mikhail, who is young, hungry, fast and ambitious."
The Russia car will be the sixth Superleague entry run by Atech Reid this year, joining New Zealand, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Japan and the Czech Republic.