Italian racer Ferdinando Monfardini was confirmed today as one of the DAMS team drivers for the coming 2006 season of the GP2 Series. Jean Paul Driot, DAMS owner, announced Monfardini as the first driver named to the French squad for the second season of GP2 competition, which will start at the beginning of April in Valencia, Spain.

"We had three opportunities to test Ferdinando during the winter, two with the GP2 car in testing and one in race conditions at the Monza World Series event", commented Driot.

"He was already on our shortlist for 2006, having had a season's experience in GP2, with some interesting results, and the team was impressed after the tests," added the team owner. "Both parties agreed quickly on a deal for next season."

DAMS finished the 2005 inaugural GP2 season in seventh place of the teams' championship, taking one sprint race victory in Spain with José María López.

Monfardini raced with the Durango team last season until he was replaced for the season closure in Bahrain, he was able to land a ride in Bahrain with Coloni Motorsport. The best result of the Italian last year were two six places in race one and two at Monza, his home race.

"This is really a great opportunity for me and I am looking forward to starting the new season", Monfardini stated. "This is one of the moments that all racing drivers are working towards, being with a winning organisation like this and having the right platform to get results."

About the target for 2006, Monfardini explained: "I am determined to do as much as I can, while doing the best possible job for the team. DAMS has shown many times that it is an excellent place for a driver to work, and I intend to make the most of this opportunity."

The GP2 teams will return to testing activity this month, they took a winter break for the holidays.