Auto GP and the International Superstars Series have signed an agreement to help promote young talent in the two series.
Superstars will create a Rookie of the Year classification for 2012, open to series newcomers up to the age of 24.
The winner of that trophy will then be able to contest five rounds of the following year's Auto GP season. Prior to that, the contenders for the crown in 2012 will get the chance to test the Auto GP car next year.
The new partnership between the two Italian-run series will bear fruit in just a few weeks, when Alberto Cerqui, newly crowned champion of the Italian Superstars classification and best rookie of the 2011 season, takes part in the Auto GP promotional test at Magione.
“Throughout the years I often heard people saying that when a driver commits to Touring Car racing, it means that his single-seater chances are over,” said Auto GP series boss Enzo Coloni.
“Frankly, I couldn't agree less with that: when I was a racer I could drive any kind of machinery on the limit, from single-seaters to saloon cars or even Sportscars, and I believe that today that's still very possible for a gifted driver. So, as soon as we started speaking about this with [Superstars counterpart] Maurizio Flammini and his staff, I saw the chance to go against a motorsport taboo, something that I often did in my career.
“Working together, Auto GP and Superstars created an unique chance in motorsport, a programme that will give a young driver a chance to show on single-seater the same talent he boasted on a saloon car. Furthermore he will have the opportunity to do so in the same championship that launched Romain Grosjean back on the right path to GP2 and F1 and that in 2011 elected Kevin Ceccon as one of the most interesting talents in European motorsport. Could you ask for more?”