GP3 champion Mitch Evans got his first taste of the new car that will be used in the series from the 2013 season.
The New Zealander kicked off a two-day test session at the Magny-Cours circuit, where he is helping the series organizers with the development of the new 400hp car. Evans will also carry out tire development work during the two days of running at the French track.
"I'm very happy to be given this opportunity," Evans said. "The new car is really fun to drive. It's a big step up in power. I think GP3 have also done a really good job with the engine. The sound of the GP3/13 is really nice. When you exit the pits you notice the difference straight away with the noise, especially as it's so much louder.
"I think all in all it's a good step forward for the GP3 Series, with moving closer to GP2. Next year looks very promising with the second-generation car."
The GP3 champion will also be given his first run in a GP2 car as part of the prize for winning the championship this year.
"It's a great experience, obviously it's very new to me," he added. "I can't thank GP3, GP2 and Pirelli enough for giving me this opportunity to do it. We have tested lots of new tires today so it's been like a massive qualifying session for me, which has been very challenging but also good fun.
"It will be very interesting to see how the tires perform over the longer runs. I want to make the most of this over the two-day test and to learn as much as possible."