Nelson Panciatici has signed for the Lotus Racing Junior outfit for his first season in the World Series by Renault Formula 3.5 this year.
The 21-year-old French driver, who finished as runner-up in the Spanish F3 in 2008 and competed in GP2 and the Superleague Formula last season, appeared together with the outfit at the launch of Lotus Racing, which will make its highly-anticipated return to the Formula One grid this season, at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London on Friday afternoon.
The Lotus Racing Junior outfit, formerly known as MOFAZ Racing, will enjoy close links with the F1 squad, something Nelson admits was a huge attraction in joining the team.
“Joining the Lotus Racing Junior outfit is a huge opportunity for me and offers me the chance to enjoy the benefits of the direct link with the Formula One team,” said Panciatici.
“To be racing for a team that carries the famous Lotus name gives a little added pressure, but that isn’t a problem for me because I have learned to manage pressure and turn it into a positive since the age of ten when I started my career in karting.
“I am very aware of the glorious heritage and history of Lotus in motorsport and it is a huge honor for me to be involved with this team. I will do my best to maximize this opportunity and get everything I can from it.”
Alex Somerset, the team's Technical Director, said: “We watched Nelson at both the Aragon and Barcelona tests, and he demonstrated his abilities. He fits our bill of having one experienced driver and one rookie. We look forward to working with him and are confident that along with Russian Daniil Move, our other driver, he will help us finish in the Top 3 of the Teams Championship. We are also of the belief that Nelson certainly has the ability to finish in the Top 3 in the Drivers Championship”.
Panciatici will be supported by luxury watch maker Ange Barde in 2010 and wore the Geneva-based firm’s brand new Legend Racer LR46 time piece at the Lotus Racing launch.
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