Having already acquainted himself with World Series by Renault machinery in the final round of the 2008 championship, Sten Pentus will attempt to make an impact on the GP2 Series team when he joins championship-winning Racing Engineering for this week's Paul Ricard session.
Having clinched this year's drivers' title with Giorgio Pantano, the Spanish team continues to try and find the pairing most likely to allow it to challenge for both crowns next season, and will run veteran Andreas Zuber alongside Pentus on the opening day at Ricard, with Dani Clos replacing the UAE-based Austrian on day two.
Estonian Pentus is one of an increasing number of Eastern European drivers gradually making a name for themselves in world motorsport, but dropped off the radar a little this season before joining Red Devil Comtec for the Barcelona WSbR finale. A former Formula Baltic champion, he has raced for two seasons in the UK Formula Renault Championship, and already has GP2 experience, having appeared with DPR during the last group test at Jerez, where he all but matched team regular Michael Herck.
Zuber, by contrast, has knowledge of both GP2 and Racing Engineering, having run with the team at Jerez at the end of his third season in the category. He was sixth fastest on the first day in southern Spain and is hoping to build on that at Ricard as he stakes a claim to one of the two seats on offer in 2009. He is currently racing in the GP2 Asia Series for the first time, and keeping his hand in between GP2 outings by competing in the new Superleague Formula for the Al-Ain FC team.
Clos, meanwhile, could be the most intriguing addition to the line-up, the 20-year old looking to graduate from F3 and use his growing experience to build a case for a future F1 role. Already acquainted with the Williams team, a solid GP2 season could help to enhance his standing as a potential successor to Fernando Alonso. Having started his career in karts, he spent two seasons racing in both the Italian and European FRenault championships, taking the 2006 title in the former. He has raced in the F3 Euroseries for the past two seasons.