Franck Mailleux will compete for Signature in the Le Mans Series in 2009 as well as at the Le Mans 24 Hours, where he will share the team's LMP1 Oreca-Judd with his compatriot Pierre Ragues.

The 23 year-old has contested the Formula 3 Euroseries with Signature this year, claiming an emphatic victory at Brands Hatch.

Now he takes the next step up in his career with a move to the 650-horsepower premier category of the Le Mans Series and his debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours - arguably the world's most famous race.

It is also an important premiere for Signature, which moves into endurance racing for the first time.

"I am very happy to stay with the Signature team for this new challenge," said the Frenchman, who tested Signature's LMP1 car for the first time earlier this month at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France.

"We have enjoyed a successful collaboration for some time now and I am delighted to be able to continue it into the future.

"I would also like to sincerely thank Volkswagen, our engine partner in the Formula 3 Euroseries, for all the hard work they have put in over the course of 2008 - which allowed me to claim a memorable win at Brands Hatch.

"The world of sportscar racing is completely new to me though, so I will have a lot to learn. However, I'm fortunate to have a great time behind me and also a great team mate in Pierre Ragues.

"I am sure that he will be able to teach me a lot, so that we can hit the ground running from the very first race."

Philippe Sinault, the team principal of Signature, meanwhile added that he was delighted to see Mailleux stay on.

"Franck is very much a known quantity to us, and we have always appreciated his abilities and personality," he continued. "I'm very happy that we will continue to work together in 2009.

"In Franck and Pierre I think we have the perfect line-up with which to face our debut season in the Le Mans Series, which is sure to be a tough but very exciting challenge for everybody."



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