iSport International has confirmed that Giedo van der Garde and Diego Nunes will be charged with trying to bring the GP2 Series championship title back to the Norfolk-based outfit this season, after Racing Engineering's Giorgio Pantano stole the crown away in 2008.
The confirmation comes on the heels of Bruno Senna's revelation that he would not be taking up the opportunity to rejoin iSport in the wake of his Honda F1 aspirations collapsing along with the team. The Brazilian finished second to Pantano after a hard-fought 2008 drivers' championship and, along with the similarly departed Karun Chandhok, helped iSport to second in the teams' championship behind Campos, but announced this week that he would concentrate on trying to prise open the door to the top flight rather than indulge in a third year in GP2.
iSport has responded by signing fellow Brazilian Diego Nunes to fill the void left by Senna, snatching the second year driver from neighbour DPR in the hope that he can build on the speed he has shown between somewhat erratic performances in both the summer and Asia series.
van der Garde, meanwhile, was already in place and has been working his way towards the front of the field in the second GP2 Asia Series since winning last year's World Series by Renault with P1 Motorsport. The 23-year old Dutch driver has F1 testing experience with both Spyker and Super Aguri, but has focused on strengthening his resume as he bids to join the top flight. He currently shares eighth place in the Asia Series standings.
“We are delighted to have Giedo and Diego on board for the 2009 GP2 Series," team principal Paul Jackson said, "We have been building a good relationship with Giedo during the GP2 Asia Series and he was impressive during the winter testing.
"We were equally impressed with Diego Nunes after he tested with us at Paul Ricard last year and, with a year's experience in GP2, he will be a valuable addition to the team.”
Chandhok left iSport to join Tiago Monteiro's new Ocean Racing Technology outfit, which takes the place of BCN this season.