Despite a somewhat anonymous debut year in the championship, Alvaro Barba has nonetheless landed himself a plum seat in the World Series by Renault for next season after race winners Draco Multiracing confirmed he will lead their assault in 2007.

Defecting from the since departed Jenzer Motorsport, Barba came to the Swiss team in 2006 after finishing fifth in the Spanish Formula Three Championship the year before. However, Barba had precious opportunity to impress with the struggling squad and could only muster nine points, his best result of sixth coming at Spa-Francorchamps on the way to 26th in the overall standings.

Nonetheless, Barba earned himself a second chance to make his presence felt by testing with Draco and Comtec Racing during the post-season tests, the Spaniard going on to cause a stir by topping the timesheets in each car at Vallelunga and Valencia.

As a result, Draco have been quick to sign Barba, who triumphed in a stringent driver evaluation survey that saw the team trial a total of twelve drivers during the three tests, including Dani Clos, Pippa Mann and even Alvaro's brother Marco, with whom he raced alongside at Jenzer.

Indeed, team bosses Adriano and Nadia Morini are confident of Barba's abilities, even lauding him enough to suggest he can become a successor to Fernando Alonso.

"We analysed 12 drivers and at the end I chose Alvaro for his technical performances," said Adriano. "It's the first time we have had a Spanish driver and I hope he will became the new Fernando Alonso, the World Champion in F1.

"After the last test in Valencia I have no more doubts about Barba. I will continue to analyse the other eleven drivers for the second seat but I think the decision will come soon."

As for the identity of that second driver, the highly regarded Clos, who finished seventh in the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2006, is arguably the favourite, although Milos Pavlovic, who joined the team late in the season and scored two podiums in the six races he competed in, is also thought to be in the running.

Meanwhile, Draco will find out on January 4th if they have been successful in overturning Pastor Maldonado's disqualification from his win in the sixth round of the championship at Misano, a result that, if overturned, will give the Venezuelan the drivers' title, some three months after Alx Danielsson initially claimed the championship.


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