Comtec have confirmed former Italian Open Masters Karting Champion Vittorio Ghirelli will partner Nick Yelloly for their Formula Renault 3.5 campaign.
The 17-year-old Italian has spent the past two seasons in GP3, racing for Atech CRS and Addax in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
His best result came in the second race at Barcelona last year, when he finished eighth.
Ghirelli joined Comtec for the second day of winter testing in 2011, where he was 16th fastest, and is hopeful of competing for the Rookie’s Championship despite his relative inexperience.
He said: “Obviously, every driver has the objective of winning the Championship, but that's a lot to expect, especially given the high calibre of drivers this year, which include some Formula One test drivers and a lot of good European drivers.
“The level of competition is very, very, high, but I think we can do well. We just have to concentrate on doing the best we can at every race meeting and fight for the rookie honours.
“I’m very happy to be joining Comtec Racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
“It's a very professional team and the people are very serious about racing.”
Comtec Team Manager John Barnett believes in Ghirelli and Yelloly he has an excellent partnership for the upcoming season.
He said: “We are happy to have Vittorio on board. Although Vittorio is only 17, he impressed the team with his speed, approach and maturity during winter testing.
“Vittorio comes with a very experienced driver coaching package lead by Andy Soucek – a successful former Formula Renault 3.5 Series and F1 test driver – who will help to develop his core driver skills during the season.
“It will be a tough season this year, but I believe the two drivers will give Comtec a springboard to return us to the top.”