Andy Soucek's rumoured return to Super Nova Racing as a permanent replacement for the injury-prone Christian Bakkerud has been confirmed by both the team and its unfortunate Danish pilot.

Soucek sat in for Bakkerud after the recurrence of a persistent back injury forced the Dane to miss Istanbul's GP2 Series double-header, and has now been recalled by Super Nova boss David Sears following another flare-up during last week's mid-season test at Paul Ricard. Bakkerud has reluctantly taken advice from his doctor to take an extended period out of the cockpit in order not to jeopardise his future career.

"The Super Nova team are extremely sad that Christian has been forced to stop through injury, and hope he gets better quickly," Sears said in a statement, "We would also like to welcome back Andy Soucek, who has already showed great form with the team in Istanbul. We believe Andy is a real charger, and will immediately be on the pace. We are all looking forward to him completing the rest of the season and fighting at the front of the field for the championship."

Soucek has enjoyed a somewhat nomadic existence since being dropped in contentious circumstances by FMSI on the eve of the season, but called the Super Nova opportunity as 'the best birthday present' when he prematurely revealed the deal in the Spanish press.

Bakkerud, meanwhile, admitted that taking time out of the cockpit is probably the best way to protect his career.

"I have had a few days to think now and I know we have made the right decision," the Dane insisted, "It was a very hard but, at the same time, easy decision to make once the doctors advised as to the full extent of my injury.

"My back has been giving me problems for a long time now, on and off, and it has been incredibly painful. At 23 years of age, I have been advised to take time off to recover fully now before I get problems for life.

"Of course, I'm really disappointed and sorry that the season has ended this way, but I feel that the time has come to let my back recover 100 per cent before contemplating a return to a racing car cockpit."

Ironically, it was only after the latest round of the championship, in which he suffered a hard landing after getting airborne at the start in Monaco, that Bakkerud reported that his back had finally suffered no ill-effects from racing.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Super Nova team for their enormous support and understanding in a very difficult time for me," he continued, "On every occasion, they have prepared the best and most competitive car and, had I not had this injury, I am confident that I would have delivered some decent results this season. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the team for their hard work and I will miss travelling and hanging out with you immensely!"

A decision on Bakkerud's career future will be taken once his back has fully recovered which is anticipated to be towards the end of this season, following continued medical advice from his doctors.



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