Ombra Racing officially announced their first driver for the 2011 Auto GP campaign. It's Kevin Ceccon, a 17 years-old from Milan who was fourth in the latest season of the European F3 Open. So, After Venturini and De Jong, another youngster joins the Auto GP grid, and with high ambitions despite the young age.
That's because Kevin already showed great skills in 2010 clinching one win and 6 podium finishes in F3, and then confirmed his role as one of the most interesting Italian talents when, in November, he jumped in the GP2 car for the Abu Dhabi testing. Even if he had never tried the car before, apart from some session in a simulator, Ceccon wasn't impressed by the huge power gap with the F3 car he was used to drive and showed a stunning learning ability, hitting the top 10 very quickly and finishing as high as 4th in his best session, ahead of much more experienced drivers. That's why he will be among the ones to look for the Under 21 Trophy launched by Auto GP, a special classification that will gift the winner with a GP2 test.
With Ceccon's confirmation, there's still a free seat at Ombra Racing, and the team is still evaluating different options.
Enzo Coloni: "Kevin is one of the most talented Italian drivers, and I'm very happy to see that he did choose Auto GP for 2011. He really suits the driver profile we were thinking of when we decided to create the Under 21 Trophy, very young guns that already showed impressive glimpses of talent, something that could lead them to an F1 debut in a few years. Ceccon already impressed us, first on the simulator an then on the GP2 car. I needs to remember that at the first season on such a challenging car he will need some time to extract the best performance from it, but I'm sure he will learn quickly and clinch some great result".
Massimo Pollini (Ombra Racing): "After winning a lot with this car in the 2009 Euroseries, we really wanted to get back on track, that's why last year we raced in Monza, to prepare ourselves for a full-time commitment this season. Our philosophy as a team has always been helping the young drivers to stand out, and with Kevin we know that we have one of the best youngsters in Italian motorsport, a driver that can achieve a lot with the right car. We believe that we can give him such a car, so I'm sure we will have fun together".
Kevin Ceccon: "When I started looking around for 2011, it was immediately clear that Auto GP was the first choice. Thanks to the Eurosport TV coverage approaching the sponsors was easier, and looking at value for money, there's nothing like it in international motorsport. The car is amazing, and then you have the prize money, the prize GP2 test and the Under 21 Trophy, that's really a lot. Anyway, I made my decision after the test I did in Magny-Cours: there I realized that the car can be really a good school for GP2 because having no ground effect it's very very similar to drive and the engine it's really powerful.
"I have a very clear aim for 2011: working with a skilled team like Ombra, with a staff that has a lot of experience on this car, I want to improve steadily, also learning to cope with situations, like the pit-stops, that I never faced before. Then good results will come as a consequence".