Xavier Maassen has become the latest driver to graduate from the Formula Renault Eurocup to the World Series after securing a deal to race with Prema Powerteam in 2007.

The third Dutchman to be confirmed to the World Series grid after Giedo van der Garde and Jaap Van Lagen, Maassen graduates to the championship after establishing himself as a consistent front runner in the Eurocup over the last two seasons, scoring a best of tenth overall in 2005.

Making the step up to championship alongside the likes of Filipe Albuquerque, Bertrand Baguette and Pippa Mann, Maassen was a regular figure during post-season testing, winning the chance to run with KTR. Nonetheless, the final deal with Prema marks the fulfilment of an ambition for the 22-year-old.

"Signing for Prema Power in the World Series is like a dream come true," he mused. "We worked hard to achieve our goal to drive for a top team in the World Series. This goal has now become reality.

"Prema is one of those teams that I have always wanted to work with from the time that I started in motorsport. I am looking forward on working with the guys and the team. I am very motivated to do a good job with the team and achieve some good results in my rookie year. It will be a big leap stepping up from Formula Renault 2.0 to the World Series; with Prema I am confident we can make this step with success."

Prema had an encouraging maiden season in the World Series last year after making the move up from Formula Renault and Formula Three, the Italian car proving particularly quick in the hands of Christian Montanari who claimed the team's first win at the Nurburgring.

Indeed, team principal Angelo Rosin is hoping they can build upon that form in the new season and although Maassen comes to the series as a rookie, he is confident he can deliver results beyond his experience.

"Xavier Maassen will be a debutant in the World Series by Renault, but we cannot see this being a problem," he claimed. "He's a mature, experienced driver and I believe that he will become a valuable member of our team and help us achieve the results that we all hope for. "

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