PATRIZI TO BECOME FIRST AUSTRALIAN TO DRIVE A GP2 CAR IN TEST FOR DPR NEXT WEEK
-- Becomes first Australian to drive a GP2 car, the feeder category to Formula One
-- Will be joined at DPR by Bruno Senna, nephew of three-time F1 world champion Ayrton, in the two-day test at Paul Ricard circuit
Young racing talent Michael Patrizi will become the first Australian to drive a GP2 car when the 22-year-old conducts a two-day test with David Price Racing (DPR) at the Paul Ricard circuit in France next week.
Patrizi will pilot one of DPR's 580 horsepower GP2 machines in the test, held on October 3-4, while Brazilian Bruno Senna, nephew of three-time F1 world champion Ayrton Senna, will occupy the other DPR car.
DPR's most recent success came in the final round of the GP2 Series season with a podium for driver Clivio Piccione at the Monza circuit in Italy.
Patrizi has come to the attention of DPR team principal David Price after showing great speed in his two appearances in Team Australia's Champ Car Atlantic Championship team in Montreal and Road America recently.
Despite no testing in the Atlantic cars, the West Australian rose to the challenge and ran with some of the established drivers of the highly-competitive series, showing his competence in high-powered open-wheel racing cars.
The GP2 Series is the official feeder category to the FIA Formula One World Championship and is run on the same weekends as the European Formula One events.
Recent graduates from GP2 to Formula One include Nico Rosberg (Williams), Heikki Kovalainen (Renault), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Nelson Piquet Jr (Renault) and Scott Speed (Scuderia Toro Rosso).
QUOTES FROM MICHAEL PATRIZI AND DAVID PRICE--
"I'm really excited about the opportunity to test a GP2 car for David Price Racing," said Patrizi.
"It's something I have worked towards all year and to be given this chance by DPR is a real thrill.
"Coming straight from a great couple of appearances with the Team Australia Atlantic team this is another good opportunity for me and I am very grateful to have been offered this test.
"I intend to take the opportunity with both hands and give it everything I've got.
"This test is something that I am looking forward to immensely. I'm working hard on my plans for next year and I am doing everything I can to make 2007 a big year.
"I understand the challenge ahead of me, but challenges have always been apart of my career racing overseas. I am going to put everything I have into the test and I can't wait to get in that DPR GP2 car.
"I have to thank David Price and his entire team for this fantastic opportunity. When you look at the calibre of drivers that contest the GP2 Series it is an honour to be selected to test with a team like DPR.
"This will be two very exciting days for me and I am fully aware that the GP2 car is a step up for me. Over the two days I will be doing everything I can to learn from the team and learn the ropes at my first time at the Paul Ricard circuit.
"A test like this is all about acting like a sponge and absorbing as much information as possible from the DPR engineers. With a new car and a new circuit to learn it will be a big challenge but new cars and new circuits are something that I have grown used two these last two seasons of racing overseas."
David Price -- DPR Team Principal
"I'm looking forward to seeing how Michael will do," said Price.
"It's a big leap between the lower formulas and GP2, especially the difference in power, the brakes and the grip. I'm sure he will acquit himself very well."