FM season kicks off in Pau

International Formula Master's (IFM) third season will kick off next week with two inaugural rounds in Pau, France, and 20 drivers eager to race on the only street circuit for 2009.

In addition to the pre-season testing group, which featured a host of drivers including 2008 vice-champion Fabio Leimer, as well as upcoming rookies Pal Varhaug and Alexander Rossi, the French rounds will see regular IFM drivers Frankie Provenzano, Kasper Andersen and Harald Schlegelmilch return to the Series.

Newcomers will also feature, with the likes of 2007 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Champion Duncan Tappy running alongside 2008 Williams F1 test driver Jonathan Kennard with Team JVA.

Multi-talented Dutchman Dennis Retera will also join the field with AR Motorsport; the experienced driver claimed the vice-championship in GT4 European Cup Sports Light last year.

Imola-sensation Earl Bamber will also come back to the Series for the first time since he stormed to a win last season with ADM Motorsport. The New Zealander returns to the team fresh from the latest A1GP season where he scored three podiums with his national team.

The field of young drivers, coming from 13 different countries, can look forward to competing for a host of prizes, which include a GP2 test with team DAMS. The French outfit, which has run 2007 IFM Champion Jérôme D'Ambrosio since his graduation from Formula Master, recently celebrated the GP2 Asia Championship with D'Ambrosio claiming the drivers' vice-champion title.

Today marked another celebration for D'Ambrosio; the young Belgian scored the second of two podium-finishes in Barcelona, Spain, on the inaugural 2009 GP2 Series weekend.

Both IFM races in Pau, France, will be shown live on Eurosport International and Eurosport Asia Pacific with Race One broadcast from 10:00 GMT onwards on Saturday 16 May and Sunday 17 May's Race Two from 11:45 GMT.

IFM Pau 2009 Entry List

Race No./ Driver /Nationality/ Team 1Vladimir ArabadzhievBulgariaJD Motorsport2 Sergey Afanasiev RussiaJD Motorsport3 Josef Kral Czech Rep. JD Motorsport4 Frankie Provenzano Italy Trident Racing5 Tiago Petiz Portugal Trident Racing11 tba tba Trident Racing6 Fabio Leimer Switzerland Jenzer  Motorsport7 Pal Varhaug Norway Jenzer  Motorsport8 Simon Trummer Switzerland Iris Project9 Patrick Reiterer Italy Iris Project10 Harald Schlegelmilch Latvjia Cram Competition47 Alessandro Kouzkin Russia Cram Competition12 tba tba Cram Competition14 Earl Bamber New Zealand ADM Motorsport15 tba tba ADM Motorsport16 Alexander Rossi USA Hitech Junior24 Kasper Andersen Denmark Hitech Junior29 Jonathan Kennard UK Team JVA30 Duncan Tappy UK Team JVA31 Kelvin Snoeks Holland AR Motorsport32 Dennis Retera Holland AR Motorsport19 Filip Salaquarda Czech Rep. ISR20 Erik Janis Czech Rep. ISR21 tba  Scuderia Famà


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