Durango Corse has completed its driver line-up for the 2009 GP2 Series after concluding a deal with rookie Nelson Panciatici.
Although the Italian team was one of the first to confirm its lead driver, Davide Valsecchi, for the new season, they have only now been able to agree terms with a second.
Panciatici makes the jump from Spanish Formula 3, where he missed out on the title by two points in 2008 behind German Sanchez, despite the fact he was driving an older 'B-class' car, unlike his rival.
Making his first appearance with Durango during the first official GP2 pre-season tests last week, although he couldn't match Valsecchi for pace, Panciatici impressed team principal Ivone Pinton sufficiently to warrant a contract for 2009.
“I kept an eye on Nelson during the last seasons, he was my first choice for the Durango 2009 GP2 campaign. I am very pleased he joined our team and I am sure we will work very well together.”
“When, two months ago, I went to Durango for the first time I immediately felt like home,” Panciatici added. “After last week tests this persuasion became certainty. I am in the right team. I am very happy because, even considering how difficult the next season will be and how many difficult things I must learn, for sure Durango will deliver me all the necessary support.”
Durango finished 11th in the GP2 standings last season, although they did score a season finale victory at Monza courtesy of Valsecchi. The Italian is also currently second in the 2008/09 GP2 Asia standings with three podiums finishes.