iSport signs Bird and Ericsson for '11

Sam Bird and Marcus Ericsson have been announced as iSport's GP2 drivers for 2011

iSport signs Bird and Ericsson for '11

Sam Bird and Marcus Ericsson have been announced as iSport's GP2 drivers for 2011.

The team unveiled the pairing, who both won races in their rookie GP2 seasons last year, at AUTOSPORT International on Thursday morning.

"I'm really excited," said Bird, who finished fifth in the 2010 standings with ART. "It's the right move at the right time in my second year of GP2. I think iSport has the engineering expertise to push me hard and I have a team-mate to push me hard.

"I think we're ready for a title push now. Last year was a great year, but I need to go a few steps better this year and I'm definitely with the right people to do that."

Former Super Nova driver Ericsson, who scored his maiden win at Valencia, added: "My first year was tough, but I learned a lot and I feel iSport is the right team to go with this year.

"They have a very successful history in GP2 and I've known them for quite a long time now - I've tested with them three years in a row and it feels natural, I really believe in iSport.

"As usual in GP2 there are going to be a lot of guys who are very strong. Addax has a strong line-up with [Charles] Pic and [Giedo] van der Garde, of course ART is always up there, and there will be plenty more good drivers. It's going to be a very tough year."

Team boss Paul Jackson expects his team to excel in the first season of the next generation GP2 car.

"This year brings the third GP2 car and we're looking forward to it," he said. "It's a more interesting challenge when we have a new car to develop. We've always been more successful at the beginning of each new period when the car has been. We've got a very strong team on the engineering side who seem to get a handle on it very quickly.

"We've only had one day of shakedown so far, so very little experience. And with the change to Pirelli tyres everyone has very little info yet. It will be a big factor getting your heads round that as early as possible.

"We've had the good fortune to have a number of very good drivers over the years. I feel we will continue that this year with these two. Both ran in GP2 last year, had promising results and showed a lot of potential. We feel they're ready to realise that potential in some good solid resuts and challenge for the championship."

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