Dean Stoneman gets Carlin GP2 seat at Sochi in place of Julian Leal

Dean Stoneman will make his GP2 Series debut with Carlin at Sochi this weekend in place of Julian Leal.

Last year’s GP3 runner-up, Stoneman’s main campaign this season is in Formula Renault 3.5, where he currently sits third in the standings in a Red Bull-backed DAMS entry.

“I’m excited; this will be a new challenge for me to get into a GP2 car,” said Stoneman.

“I’m not going to know what to expect really until I get out there and get a feel of the car.

“It’s going to be a great experience though and I’m going out to do a good job.

“It’s nice to go back to a track I have good memories of; last year in GP3 was a great weekend for me, winning from pole in the first race and then second in the second race so I’m looking forward to going there again.”

Stoneman lines up alongside Sean Gelael in the Carlin squad, which was a title contender with Felipe Nasr last season but is yet to finish on the GP2 podium in 2015.

Team boss Trevor Carlin said he was pleased to get an opportunity to run Stoneman after racing against him in recent years.

“It’s great to welcome Dean to the team – he is a driver who we have closely watched for many years and someone who is extremely talented,” he said.

“It is great to have the opportunity to work with him this weekend in the GP2 Series and he has already fitted in well with the team back at the workshop.”

Stoneman has only been confirmed for the Sochi race at present, but AUTOSPORT understands there is potential for him to race in the Abu Dhabi season finale as well.