Ex GP2-driver Javier Villa confirmed for Proteam
Former GP2 driver Javier Villa has been confirmed as the third driver for Proteam Motorsport in the FIA World Touring Car Championship 2011.
“I have very high goals, but I prefer to wait until the season starts before I can confirm what we can do. I hope at least to be able to defend Proteam’s positions in the last few years and play a good role in the championship,” said Villa to TouringCarTimes.
The 23-year-old has raced in GP2 for the last four seasons and is looking forward to his switch to touring car racing.
“Touring cars are very professional, they are growing a lot and I think that this growth will increase in the years to come. After a few tests I think I can adapt myself well and do good things on track,” said Villa.
With the cars already shipped to Brazil for the WTCC premiere at Curitiba in one month, there will be very little pre-season testing for Villa. But despite that the Spaniard is confident ahead of his task to drive the new BMW 320TC.
“I feel it is motivating, this is what I like the most: I will have to learn a new car, a new team, a new championship and even 90% of the tracks in a very short time. I really can’t wait to get into the car for the first time,” said Villa.
Villa is going to team up with Mehdi Bennani and Fabio Fabiani in the Proteam during the coming season.
“I know they’ve been in the WTCC last year and Bennani has been in the championship for a long time. I’m sure we’ll start working together very well straight away,” said Villa.
That Villa enters the championship at the same time as the WTCC introduces the new 1.6 litre engines is something Villa sees as a positive thing.
“This will be one of the most interesting and closest seasons. There will be new developments, but on the other hand, this will motivate manufacturers to put more effort in the championship and this will give the drivers more options,” said Villa.
After four years in the GP2 Main Series, during which he claimed three wins, Villa took part in the Spanish Mini Challenge last year.