Having arrived as a late contender from very much in left field, Tristan Gommendy was duly confirmed as Neel Jani's team-mate in all-rookie line-up at PKV Racing for the coming Champ Car campaign.

As rumoured by Crash.net, the Frenchman will pilot the #22 PKV entry in 2007, having graduated from a combination of part-seasons in both GP2 and the World Series by Renault last year. Gommendy, who has French and Macau F3 titles to his name, beat off a number of suitors for the second PKV seat, including team favourite Oriol Servia, despite being yet to sit in one of the new Panoz DP01 cars.

"We are very pleased to have Tristan join us," co-owner Jimmy Vasser said at the announcement on the eve of Spring Training, "He is an experienced driver who has enjoyed success in European open-wheel racing, and I think he will be an excellent addition to our team. Along with Neel Jani, he provides PKV Racing with a very competitive pair of drivers."

The 27-year old's lack of experience did not appear to be a concern for Vasser, who confirmed that he would be 'helping [the Frenchman] through the learning curve in his inaugural Champ Car season'.

Although a sponsor has yet to be revealed for the second PKV entry - Red Bull is to back Jani's campaign - Gommendy admitted that the deal was 'a great opportunity'.

"I am looking forward to joining PKV Racing and competing in Champ Cars," he said, "I think Neel and I will be good team-mates and I am looking forward to a competitive season."

Gommendy will test a Champ Car for the first time tomorrow [Friday] during the traditional Spring Training test at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. As well as Servia, the Frenchman's arrival effectively closes the door on the other 2006 PKV pilot, Katherine Legge, although the Briton remains hopeful of finding a seat elsewhere in the series for the coming year.


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