Photo: Renault Sport/DPPI
29-year-old Frenchman Emmanuel Piget will join Mihai Marinescu at new Formula Renault 3.5 team Zeta Corse at the opening round of the season at Monza this weekend.
Zeta Corse has been created from the ashes of the old BVM Target over the winter, run out of Valencia and owned by Italian Giancarlo Zampieri, father of former BVM Target driver Daniel Zampieri. Formula Two refugee Marinescu has spent the entire pre-season testing period with the team and been partnered by drivers including Zampieri Jr and GP3 racers Nick Yelloly and Dino Zamparelli.
The team has now called upon the services of Piget for the first races at Monza. He last raced in 2010 in F3 Open, scoring two podium finishes from a six-race campaign. His last full season came in the 2003 French Formula Renault Championship, with just a handful of F3 appearances after that.
Piget has since tested his own first generation GP2 car as part of his MPracing operation, as well as running at a GP3 test in June 2010 with Tech 1 and for the Epsilon Eusakadi FR3.5 team ahead of the 2011 season. Zeta Corse’s team manager is Claudio Corradini, who worked with Epsilon Euskadi and founded its replacement, EPIC.
24-year-old Romanian Marinescu joins FR3.5 after three years in Formula Two, finishing fifth overall in both 2011 and 2012 after claiming a total of three race wins, including at Monza in 2011.
“The Zeta Corse program started a little bit late,” explained Corradini. “As a consequence, when it came to signing drivers, many of them were already busy. We didn’t back down though. Marinescu proved key in the pre-season and will be with us throughout the whole season, but it’s been tough to secure a second full-time racer.
“Despite sampling several drivers in testing, no deals have come at hand. At Monza we will line-up Emmanuel Piget. Although he’s not very famous, I know him well and I also know his preparation and professionalism. Then, for the remaining rounds, we’ll see.”
The confirmation of Marinescu and Piget completes the 26-car grid for Monza.