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Clos, Vietoris re-sign for Racing Engineering
27 January 2011
Racing Engineering's driver-line-up for the main GP2 Series will be Spain's Dani Clos and Germany's Christian Vietoris.
That continues the team's 2010 line-up for a second year, although Vietoris missed the final race of 2010 in Abu Dhabi for the team after being taken into hospital for surgery for appendicitis just before the race weekend. His seat was taken for the weekend by Ho-Pin Tung, himself returning to the series after recovering from injury earlier in the year.
Clos will be starting his third season at Racing Engineering, and will be hoping to build on a strong performance in 2010 that saw him win the Turkey sprint race and claim four third place finishes on his way to 4th place in the championship. He was just a single point behind Jules Bianchi in third in what proved to be a close-fought final weekend.
"It's incredible that at this time people keep backing me and give me their confidence to do another GP2 season with a team like this," said Clos. "I'm proud to be here again with Racing Engineering and with them I want to make our dream come true and win the championship."
"Dani and Racing Engineering have proven to be a strong combination and it was only an injury in 2010 which kept Dani from finishing the championship on top," said team owner and president Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon. "We are delighted to be able to work with a driver of Dani's qualities in both GP2 Asia and the Main Series. There is no doubt about the objectives given his performance in 2010."
Vietoris will be back for his second year in GP2. After a quiet start to the year he had a strong finish, winning the Monza sprint race and claiming two second places at the Hungary event. A former driver for A1GP's Team Germany, Vietoris won the 2006 Formula BMW ADAC series and came second in the 2009 Formula Three Euroseries.
"I am really looking forward to my second year in GP2 with Racing Engineering. We are a well attuned team," said Vietoris, agreeing that "the objective for 2011 has to be the championship title."
However, Vietoris is not available to compete in the GP2 Asia series, so instead Clos' team mate for those races will be 21-year-old Frenchman Nathanael Berthon. Berthon has been racing single-seaters since 2008 and claimed 3rd place in the 2009 Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup before moving up to Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2010 in which he won at Magny-Cours and claimed four podium finishes on his way to clinching 7th place in the championship. He also appeared as a guest driver in the British Formula Three championship driving for ART Grand Prix.
"[Berthon] is a promising upcoming driver, who, although does not have many years of racing under his belt, has shown a very steep learning curve," said Racing Engineering in its press release.
"I am very happy to be able to do GP2 Asia with Racing Engineering," said Berthon. "It's a very human team, where after a few words you already feel like you are part of a family. I am convinced that together we will work well and I will quickly evolve as a driver with the support of this team in order to fight against the best."
The first GP2 Asia race is on February 11, while GP2 is scheduled to begin on May 7 as one of the support events at the Turkish F1 Grand Prix.
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