American Conor Daly's GP3 campaign starts this weekend in Barcelona. He will drive for a second season with French-based ART Grand Prix and travels to Spain arguably as well prepared for a season as at any time in his career.
It will be the second race of the 2013 season for Daly, as he competed for Hilmer Motorsport in the opening rounds of the GP2 championship in Malaysia, March 23-24. There Daly made an impressive debut in the category, scoring championship points and setting the second-fastest race lap.
Since the finish of the 2012 GP3 season Daly has been racing and testing a large variety of race cars including, World Series Renault 3.5, MRF Challenge, GP2, Formula 1 and IndyCar, in addition to eight days of GP3 testing in that spec series' new 400hp V6-powered Dallara.
"I've had a busy off season and I have a great team with ART," said Daly. "I know what I have to do, what's expected and look forward to the challenge."
Daly's travel schedule will be hectic as usual, as he will leave Spain immediately after the Sunday morning race and head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to start preparations for his debut at the Indy 500. Daly will miss the official Rookie Orientation Program on Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12 (now combined with the opening weekend of practice at Indy after being postponed by inclement weather), but will be allowed to complete the initial phases of his rookie program on Monday morning before the track becomes officially active at 12:00 p.m.
"I'll have a full night's sleep in my own bed before I sit in the Indy car, so I'll be rested and ready," said Daly. "I'll rely heavily on the A.J. Foyt team to guide me through the steps of learning the Speedway and I'll spend as much time as I feel I need becoming comfortable before trying to explore the potential performance levels of the car. This is a big event for me and I'm really stoked and ready."
Daly's GP3 schedule opened up the opportunity to race at the Indy 500 because the Monaco GP3 races were canceled this year in favor of running the final races of the GP3 championship at Abu Dhabi in November.