The Cecotto name will return to the top step of the Formula One feeder ladder at Monza this weekend, with the revelation that second-generation driver Johnny Jr has inked a deal with David Price Racing for the final two rounds of the 2009 GP2 Series campaign.
The 20-year old Venezuelan will replace the experienced, but somewhat lacklustre, Franck Perera alongside DPR stalwart Michael Herck - whose father has a major involvement with the British team - after stepping up from the F3 Euroseries, where he endured a below-par season with Austrian outfit HBR. The agreement with DPR covers this weekend's Monza round, as well as the stand-alone season finale at Portimao in Portugal next weekend.
"This Monday, we closed the agreement to run at Monza and Portimao," father Johnny Sr, a former F2 runner-up, confirmed, before admitting that his offspring faces a tough learning curve, "David Price Racing has not scored any points this year but, with a little luck, could be near the top ten. Johnny Amadeus will barely have time to adapt to the car before going into qualifying, but at least he has a run before that in practice. The objective is to get as many kilometres under his belt as possible."
Although he is unfamiliar with the GP2 Dallara, and will have just 30 minutes of free practice to acclimatise to it before being thrown into qualifying, Cecotto Jr does at least have prior experience of the Monza circuit, having raced there in both Formula Master and the F3000 Euroseries, taking a podium finish in the latter.
Cecotto will become the third Venezuelan to take part in this year's GP2 Series, joining Pastor Maldonado and Rodolfo González on a trail first blazed by current IndyCar Series driver EJ Viso.