Fabrizio Crestani is the first driver confirmed by Lazarus for their 2011 Auto GP campaign. The Italian driver and the team managed by Tancredi Pagiaro already worked together in a very positive test session in Valencia some weeks ago, and now they made their partnership for next season official. And they are aiming for the title, making no mistery of that. They know that they both have what it takes to hit the big target: Lazarus in 2010 was one of the best teams in the Series, clinching 4 podium finishes in Race 1, the longest and most challenging of the race weekend. Furthermore, in the mid-January testing in Valencia they showed a great attention for details, carrying out an aerodynamic study on the car thanks to sensors placed in the key-areas of it. Crestani, on his side, is a fully grown-up driver: after showing his talent with wins and podium placements both in F3 and F3000 (he was 4th in the 2009 Euroseries), in 2010 he contested 3 rounds of the GP2 Series and was astonishingly quick from scratch. He debuted on a challenging track like Spa-Francorchamps and qualified 10th, showing that he can fight with the best drivers around. So, he will be among the ones to watch in the coming season...

Enzo Coloni:
"This agreement between Lazarus and Crestani is good news for Auto GP, as I'm sure that they'll be very competitive. I know Tancredi Pagiaro and his staff from a long time, I've seen them racing in many categories and they are very skilled. At the same time, I believe that Crestani is a very interesting driver: he is quick, and he also has the right determination, something that it's needed when racing at this level".

Tancredi Pagiaro:
"I'm really happy about this agreement. I've been following Fabrizio's career from a very long time and I'm convinced that 2011 can be a very important year for him, the right one to aim for top-notch motorsport. Last year in GP2 he showed us his great talent and I think that doing a whole season in Auto GP will be vital for the last steps of his growth as a driver. I hope that this new pair, Crestani-Lazarus, will bring us good feelings and emotions during the season".

Fabrizio Crestani:
"Nowadays, no other championship offers the same 'value for money' as Auto GP with performances so close to GP2. The car is really quick, and especially in qualifying with new tyres it requires great driving skills to reach the limit. When I decided to do Auto GP, I immediately thought about Lazarus because I know them very well: I raced with them in F3000 winning three races, and after our recent test in Valencia I'm even more convinced that they are the right team to win the Series. We don't want to hide, the title is our aim, but I think that the best way to achieve that will be focusing on one race weekend at a time, working hard on every detail and making no mistakes. That's the way to go, but winning won't be easy as the competition will be tough. To get first under the chequered flag everything will have to be perfect, from the car setup to the driver. Anyway, in the last three rounds of the 2010 GP2 Series I raced against the best talents around and I realized that I'm on the same level, so I'm looking forward to the start of the season. I would also like to thank my main sponsor Daiko Welding for making this possible: I hope I will be able to pay them back for their trust in me with a win as soon as possible".

All pictures courtesy of Autogp.org.

Fabrizio Crestani.