The Renault Driver development Programme announces its 2009 class
Three drivers make up the RDD 2009 class and will represent Renault in GP2 Series, World Series by Renault and Formula Renault 2.0.
Since 2002, the Renault Driver Development Programme has been aiming at discovering the new talents of motorsport and then train and prepare them for the demands of their job as professional drivers. After taking Romain Grosjean under its wing in 2006, Renault first guided him towards his F3 Euroseries crown in 2007 and then towards his title of GP2 Asia Series Champion a few months after that. Today, the French manufacturer names him third driver of ING Renault F1 Team.
This season, the RDD Programme supports three young drivers whose talent and ambitions will be displayed in GP2 Series, the World Series by Renault and Formula Renault 2.0.
Davide Valsecchi – Italian – 22 years oldLast year, in his first season of GP2, the young Italian displayed both impressive progress and willpower. After he finished eighth in the GP2 Asia Series, Davide unfortunately crashed violently in the second round of the GP2 Series championship in Turkey. Although he missed the next six races, he came back and fought hard to finish his European season on a high, winning the last race in Monza, on his home ground. In 2009, Davide is once again taking part in the GP2 Series Championship with Durango, as well as competing in the GP2 Asia Series 08-09. After two rounds, Davide is standing third in the Championship, with one win in Shanghai.
"This is a real opportunity for me. Being part of the RDD Programme is priceless. I want to become a better driver physically and mentally. I know I will, thanks to this programme. I will be stronger this season."
Charles Pic – French – 18 years oldIn a matter of a few years, Charles has become one of French Motorsport's greatest hopes. Finishing third in both Campus Formula and Eurocup in only two seasons, he competed in WSR 3.5L in 2008, winning in Le Mans and Monaco. With four additional podiums, he finished sixth in the drivers' championship and was once again declared best rookie. This season, Charles will race in the same category with Tech 1 Racing.
"I am delighted to be part of the Renault family. For a French driver, it is a real honour and a great opportunity to be guided through the upper echelons of the sport. Last season, I proved to be quite fast even though I lacked experience. I have learned from my mistakes and thanks to the RDD Programme, I will be stronger this year. My sole objective will be to win the title."
Marco Sorensen – Danish – 18 years oldThe youngest of this year's class, Marco comes from the British Formula Ford Championship and also participated in the ADAC Formula Master in 2008. Although he raced for only half the season, he scored 5 pole positions, 4 wins and 2 podiums, becoming the most successful driver of the championship. Quick and improving constantly, the very promising Danish driver will compete in both Eurocup and Northern FR 2.0.
"To be part of the RDD Programme is fantastic! I know that I'm one of the lucky few. I'm really proud that Renault has chosen me. It's the opportunity for me to focus 100% on my job as a driver."
About the Renault Driver Development programme The RDD Programme was launched in 2002 by the Renault F1 Team. For the duration of one season, the selected drivers have to prove their potential on track in their championship, but also they will have to prove their athletics qualities while being instructed by a physical trainer dedicated to the drivers' performance and improvement. The RDD drivers also have to be able to represent Renault in the world. The RDD programme is recognised as a selective, rigorous and effective programme.
All the latest news and results on the RDD Class of 2009 are available on www.ing-renaultf1.com.