Fortec Motorsport will head into their maiden World Series by Renault season with two rookie drivers at the helm following the confirmation that Richard Philippe will join James Walker on the grid in 2007.

A surprise addition to the squad given that both Sean McIntosh and Jonny Reid had been mooted for the seat and the 17-year-old did not feature in post- season testing, Philippe nonetheless comes to the World Series following a stint in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship competing with Forsythe Racing.

Although 15th in the final standings mirrored a season in which he qualified inside the top ten on nine occasions but only matched that feat in the races three times, Philippe comes to Fortec with the cachet of being the youngest ever winner of the competitive Formula BMW USA Championship in 2005.

Despite following the American career path thus far, Philippe is looking forward to the return to Europe, the Frenchman now eager to get behind the wheel of the car for the first time when testing kicks off next month at Barcelona.

"I'm ecstatic about the move to Europe and to the very competitive Renault World Series," Philippe beamed. "I can already sense a great atmosphere within the team and I look forward to learning a lot this season."

Philippe's inclusion means only six seats remain available, two at Pons and one at Prema, Eurointernational, GD Racing and Tech 1 each.

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