CEFC Manor TRS Racing team principal Graeme Lowdon has confirmed to DSC that the trio of Ben Hanley, Matt Rao and Jean-Eric Vergne will continue to race together in the team’s #24 ORECA 07 Gibson until the end of the 2017 WEC season.
This comes after they finished on the podium at Mexico (coming close to taking the team’s first ever WEC class win) and showed good pace as a crew at CoTA.
“Last year we had a lot of driver changes, and we know that it’s not the most efficient way of doing things. So we’re happy that we have a consistent line-up for the rest of the season,” he said.
“We’re confident of good results too, the crew performed well at Mexico and were unlucky at CoTA after the car had to come in for a stop to repair the lights which had been damaged after contact with another car. The only consolation is that the #24 moved up a spot in the standings after CoTA!”
Prior to the 6 Hours of Mexico, the team raced with Roberto Merhi, Tor Graves and Johnathan Hirschi in the car at the Nürburgring. When asked if Merhi and Hirschi were in the frame for the fly-away races, Lowdon explained that Merhi was only ever due to be in the car for a one-off appearance in place of Jean-Eric Vergne who had Formula E commitments that weekend, and that Hirschi was originally just confirmed for the European rounds of the WEC.
Graves meanwhile, remains a key part of Manor as a stakeholder, despite not being behind the wheel at the moment, Lowdon explaining that he’s still working with the team behind the scenes.
“Tor is still a key part of what we do, and what we’re planning going forward. He’s got a lot of business commitments at the moment so he may not attend all the races. He’s working in the background on commercial stuff for the team going forward.”