Nelson Panciatici has joined KMP Racing for this year's Formula Renault 3.5 Series season.
The 22-year-old Frenchman raced in his maiden season of the championship in 2010 with the Junior Lotus Racing team, finishing 12th in the final standings. He will now switch to the Franco-Russian KMP team for the 2011 season, where he hopes to fight for the title.
“I improved all through last year and I learnt a lot. I feel pretty confident now that I can go for the title this year,” said Panciatici, who tested for KMP at the end of last year. “To start with, I'm going to have to win some races. To be a KMP Racing driver gives me that opportunity and I'm going to work hard to maximise my chance of success. I got to appreciate the quality of the team's work during the winter trials and I've already picked up a few tricks with regards to the car's performance. Even though you never know how a new season is going to pan out, I feel quietly confident.”
He continued: “Not only do I have technical staff who know the discipline, I also have Bruno [Besson, team manager] to give me sound advice. It is a real bonus to have an ex-pilot at the head of a team because they know what we need to go fast. I'm going to make the most of this opportunity and I want to thank the team for putting their trust in me.”
KMP Racing team manager Bruno Besson also believes that Panciatici has the potential to fight for the championship. “I followed Nelson's progress closely all of last year and he fits our ethos perfectly. We got to know each other better during the winter trials; he's a winner and I like that quality. Nelson has the skill to finish in the top three of the Drivers' Championship. However, it is a very competitive championship and one can lose ten places for a small one or two tenths of a second in the qualifiers. Hard work and success will be key to take the title.”