Virgin confirm Di Grassi, Glock and Parente will drive for the new team in 2010

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    Mike
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    Virgin confirm Di Grassi, Glock and Parente will drive for the new team in 2010

    Post by Mike on 15th December 2009, 06:47

    Virgin confirm Di Grassi, Parente



    Virgin Racing has revealed that Lucas di Grassi will be partnering Timo Glock as the team prepares for its first season of Formula 1 next year. With the German having been confirmed at the team just under a month ago, the arrival of the Brazilian signals a move from Renault after spending six years with the French marque.

    With Manor GP having become Virgin Racing, the official relabeling of the Sheffield team came on Tuesday, with a presentation being held in London's Notting Hill.

    Part of Renault's young driver programme since 2004, di Grassi raced to third overall with Manor in the 2005 F3 Euroseries and the 25-year-old Brazilian has since finished in the top three of the last three years' GP2 championships. He was promoted to the role of Renault reserve driver this season as Romain Grosjean moved up to the race team following the sudden departure of Nelson Piquet Jr.

    'I want to thank everyone who helped me, especially my family,' di Grassi wrote on his personal Twitter account.

    As well as confirming Lucas di Grassi as team-mate to Timo Glock on Tuesday, Virgin Racing has named Portugal's Álvaro Parente and Brazil's Luiz Razia as the team's two official reserve drivers.

    Born in Porto in 1984, Álvaro Parente was born into a racing environment, with his father having also raced cars. Álvaro began competition racing in 2001, finishing 12th overall in the Spanish Formula 3 Championship, with that position translating to 4th with the Racing Engineering team the following season. A move to the F3 Euroseries came in 2003, which was followed by stints in the Italian and British championships plus outings at the Masters of F3 event and the legendary Macau race.

    Parente's first major success arrived in 2005, by winning the British Formula 3 championship at the wheel of a Carlin car. He represented Portugal in A1GP during its inaugural season between 2005 and 2006 before winning Renault's World Series in 2007. After a GP2 year in 2008, Álvaro finished in the top five of this season's Superleague Formula, racing for F.C. Porto.

    At 20 years old, Razia is the younger of the two Virgin reserve drivers. Born in Barreiras, Brazil in 1989, Luiz began racing in South American Formula 3 in 2005 as well as competing in the Brazilian Formula Renault 2.0 series, finishing 6th and 10th respectively. After becoming South American F3 Champion the following season, Razia enjoyed a final top three position in the Euroseries 3000 championship in 2007 as well as 4th overall in Italian Formula 3000.

    His first GP2 outing came in its debut Asia Series campaign between 2008 and 2009, with this season having been a difficult one to yield 19th overall in GP2's Main Series with the struggling Fisichella Motor Sport team, which was rebadged as Coloni mid-season.

    Source: GPUpdate
    Image source: The Telegraph


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