Norfolk-based GP2 team iSport international announced their driver line-up for the 2011 Asia and European series in front of a packed house at the Autosport show in Birmingham on Thursday.
The exciting team line-up, which principal Paul Jackson hopes "will push us to the front of the grid once again", is completed by 23-year-old Brit Sam Bird and Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson, aged 20.
The two drivers join the most successful British team in the GP2 series, which has an enviable record of consistency. Indeed iSport have never finished outside of the top 5 since the series was launched in 2005, picking up both drivers and constructers championships in 2007, and enjoying victory in the Asia series last year.
Sam Bird is regarded as the hot prospect of British motorsport after announcing himself to the world as the runner up in the Formula BMW UK series at just eighteen years old. A promising first year in GP2 saw Bird finish a very creditable fifth in the driver’s championship, which might have been even higher but for some unfortunate technical issues.
The highlight of the season was undoubtedly the Monza weekend when Bird dominated the field, winning the feature race and finishing on the podium in the sprint. At iSport in 2011 he is hoping to emulate Lewis Hamilton, the last young British driver to come through GP2 and win the series.
Young Marcus Ericsson has shown extraordinary pace in his career to date, winning Formula BMW UK aged just seventeen. In 2009 a Japanese Formula 3 series win paved the way for an early switch in to GP2 for 2010, with Marcus becoming one of the youngest ever drivers in the series. In his debut season, Ericsson impressed many seasoned observers with a race win in Valencia. Kenny Brack, a former Indy 500 champion, was so impressed after seeing the racer during his Karting years, that he compared Ericsson to Alain Prost because of his precise and smooth driving style.
iSport expect the young Swede to thrive in the positive environment of their team that has encouraged other young stars such as Bruno Senna and Timo Glock to find the best form of their careers.