Superleague thrilled to add Pantano
|By Matt Beer||Monday, June 22nd 2009, 11:54 GMT|
Superleague Formula boss Robin Webb says the arrival of GP2 champion Giorgio Pantano is a massive boost for the football-themed single-seater championship.
Pantano has been confirmed as the Azerti-run AC Milan team's new driver for the second season of the series, which commences at Magny-Cours this weekend.
"I congratulate those at Azerti who have been working very hard to bring Giorgio into Superleague Formula," said Webb, the championship's competitions director.
"Giorgio isn't the first Formula 1 driver to race in Superleague Formula but, as the reigning GP2 Series champion, he is probably the most significant addition to our grid to date."
Webb believes Pantano's arrival proves that the Superleague Formula is a viable option for established drivers.
"His presence further underlines Superleague Formula's escalating position within motorsport as well as its appeal to world class drivers who enjoy not only our unique fan-friendly race formats but also competing in a high-tech single-seater race car powered by a superb V12 engine developing more than 750bhp," said Webb.
"Giorgio is a proven winner at the highest level and I'm sure he will do AC Milan proud on and off the track."
Pantano was unable to find an F1 drive this season despite winning the GP2 title - the first time the champion in the feeder series has failed to graduate straight to the top level.
His only outings so far this year have been in the Megane Trophy on the World Series by Renault bill, and although he has set his sights on a 2010 F1 seat, he made it clear that he was taking his Superleague Formula programme very seriously.
"I'm not coming just to compete, I'm coming because I want to win races and hopefully the title - I've made that very clear to the team and they are determined to support me," said Pantano.
"I'm very excited about this new challenge and the car is clearly very exciting with 750 horsepower – I'm really looking forward to racing it.
"I still need to meet the race team and those at the football club, but I've talked to them all on the phone and everyone is really up for this. I'm a passionate AC Milan fan, so this is very special for me."