Nicolas Maduro

© GP2 Series

Ex-GP2 racer Cecotto Jr. retires from racing aged 26

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Former GP2 driver Johnny Cecotto Jr. has announced his retirement from motorsport at the age of 26.

Cecotto made his debut in GP2 back in 2009 after working his way through the junior racing series in Europe, making 113 starts to rank as the most experienced driver in the history of the championship.

The Venezuelan claimed four wins during his time in the series (two in 2012, two in 2014) and five further podium finishes, but has missed four rounds so far in 2015.

In a message sent out from his Twitter account in Spanish, Cecotto confirmed that he had lost the backing of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, bringing his racing career to an end.

“Thanks to all Venezuelans who supported me,” he tweeted. “Today my career ends without having received backing [from] President @nicolasmaduro.”

Cecotto is one of a number of Venezuelan drivers who have enjoyed significant backing from the state over the past decade. Others including former IndyCar driver EJ Viso and current Formula 1 driver Pastor Maldonado, both of whom are supported by state oil company PDVSA.