Damien Toulemonde has signed a deal to slip into reigning Italian F3 champion Mirko Bortolotti's shoes for 2009, joining the Lucidi Motors team for the eight-round series.

The 24-year old Frenchman makes the switch from sportscar racing in his homeland, and will be making his single-seater debut when he rolls out for the opening round at Adria on 10 May. Four years on the French prototype scene have yielded a dozen wins, leading to a parallel campaign in the national Porsche one-make series.

''The agreement with Toulemonde marks the official beginning of our 2009 season,'' team manager Gabriele Lucidi commented, ''During the recent test days at Imola, he showed a lot of potential.

''The professional growth of drivers has always been within the DNA of our team and we are really happy to start working with Damien. Negotiations for the other two currently vacant seats are in their advanced stages and, in the next few days, we are confident we will be able to announce the name of our drivers.''