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Nunes 'a judgement call' by iSport

iSport International principal Paul Jackson believes that moving to the former GP2 Series champions for his second season in the category could be the making of new signing Diego Nunes.

iSport unveiled Nunes as its chosen 'replacement' for Bruno Senna - who had earlier informed the team that he was going to hold out for an F1 opportunity rather than commit to GP2 at this point in the season - and will pair the Brazilian with the already confirmed Giedo van der Garde. Jackson admitted, however, that his decision was based on a hunch that Nunes could emerge as a surprise package.

"It was really a case of looking at who's around, and who we felt had the potential," he told Crash.net Radio, "There isn't a guaranteed race-winning driver out there that's staring you in the face, [although] there's a lot of good drivers who have got potential and who you've got to make a judgement on. We took that judgement on Diego and time will prove us right or wrong, but I think he's going to be one of the dark horses that, in the right circumstances, can do very well."

Having spent his debut year with DPR, Nunes attracted a reputation as being both quick and erratic, but his new employer believes that the rough edges can be smoothed out in 2009.

"He tested for us in the winter tests, and he actually did a very good job, ending up third or fourth quickest on the day" Jackson reasoned, "We'd always felt, watching him in 2008, that there was some potential there, and that he was, if you like, in a difficult situation, but occasionally showed some real promise and did some good races. Certainly, the test with us backed that up, so he's got the potential.

"I think that there's a danger that most drivers in their first year can have what appears to be an erratic performance because of the way that GP2 is structured, with the limited amount of track time and so on. They're under a lot of pressure and don't have a lot of time to get their act together, so I think the fact that he's going to be in his second year will help an awful lot and I think, hopefully, we can offer him the right kind of environment, with a good team-mate, where they can work together and bounce information off each other to make some real significant progress."

Although van der Garde is a GP2 rookie, taking his first steps in the current Asia Series, Jackson is confident that he has the right man to pair with Nunes as iSport attempts to go one better than it managed in 2008 and reclaim the titles of two years ago.

"Giedo comes with quite a good pedigree, and is quite a polished act. He's very easy to get on with, a very nice guy, very calm, takes it very seriously and works hard at it - and those are all the right ingredients. In GP2 Asia, we haven't had the best of luck as a few circumstances have gone against us, but he's been pretty much on the pace.

"He's treating the Asia Series as something of a learning experience, getting mileage and experience in the car, so I think you'll find, when he comes to Europe, he'll be quite well prepared and he'll up his game and be somewhere on the pace, I'm sure."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Diego Nunes - iSport International [pic credit: GP2 Series Media]
Sergio Canamasas (ESP) while testing with iSport International in post-season testing at Jerez - Thursday November 22 2012. (World Copyright: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Kevin Mirocha (POL, iSport International) during post-season testing at Jerez on 23 November 2012. (Photo: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service)
Facundo Regalia (ARG, iSport International) during the first day of post-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain on Thursday October 30 2012. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) leads the field into turn one on the opening lap of the Singapore sprint race. Action. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) celebrates his Singapore sprint race victory. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) celebrates his Singapore sprint race victory on the podium. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) celebrates his Singapore sprint race victory on the podium. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) celebrates his Singapore sprint race victory on the podium with Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) and Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering).(World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) celebrates his Monza sprint race victory on the podium with Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) and Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International) (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) leads Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) and Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International) through the chicane. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) in trouble in the Rettifilo at the start of the Monza feature race. (World Copyright: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service.)
Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni), Johnny Cecotto Jr. (VEN, Barwa Addax) and Marcus Ericcson (SWE, iSport) on the podium after the Monza feature race. (World Copyright: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service.)
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) crosses the line to take victory in the Spa feature race. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) celebrates his victory in the Spa feature race on the podium with James Calado (GBR, Lotus GP) and Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) celebrates his victory in the Spa feature race. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) celebrates second place in the Hockenheim sprint race. (World Copyright: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service)
James Calado (GBR, Lotus GP) celebrates his Hockenheim sprint race win on the podium with Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) and Felipe Nasr (BRA, Dams). (World Copyright: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service)

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January 01, 2010 12:06 PM

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