Formula 3 racer Alberto Valerio has been called up Victory Engineering for the final round of the World Series by Renault at Barcelona.
Valerio, who finished eighth in the British F3 International Series driving for Carlin, will partner Guido van der Garde for the event with regular partner Charlie Kimball having been sidelined by Type 1 diabetes.
The event will be the second World Series race meeting for Valerio after the Brazilian took part in the season finale last year and he said he was pleased to be back for in action at Catalunya.
“I'm very excited to be going back to Barcelona for a World Series event,” he said. “I competed there last year and really enjoyed my time in the car. Unfortunately I will miss the practice sessions on Friday which is not ideal, but I have experience of the World Series car around the circuit and I'm confident that I will be able to go out and do a good job and get the team some points.”
Following four successful races in the top six, van der Garde is on course to claim fifth in the drivers' championship.
After an unlucky start to the season which saw the young Dutchman retire from second place on two occasions, the latter half of the season has seen some strong performances from the team. Ten top ten finishes and two fourth places last time out in Estoril have put van der Garde in contention with the top drivers in the championship.
“Unfortunately I missed the World Series test at Barcelona earlier this year because of commitments at the Australian Grand Prix,” he said. “I doubt it will affect us too much; the team have data from the track, but it will be important for me to get to grips with the circuit quickly in practice. We've had some strong races recently and the team have performed consistently well. It would be nice to end the season on a high with a podium.”
Team manager David Lowe meanwhile said he was looking for his drivers to try and end the season on a high, although he admitted there was disappointment that Kimball won't be amongst them.
“We welcome Alberto to the team this weekend,” he said. “Obviously its not under the happiest of circumstances that he joins the team, but just a week after his diagnosis, it is a little too early for Charlie to jump back in the car. It will be difficult for Alberto having to miss Friday's practice sessions, but his experience in the World Series car around Barcelona will undoubtedly help and I'm sure he will make a great addition to Victory.
“Giedo has been very impressive in recent races and the team have produced a very well set up car. It would be a great reward for all the team if we could take our best finish of the season at the final round.”