Long-time French team Larbre Competition has announced that it will be competing in the Michelin Le Mans Cup in 2018, with a pair of Ligier JS P3s, and will file for an LMP2 entry into the Le Mans 24 Hours – for what would be its 25th start – with a Ligier JS P217.
This news all-but-ends speculation of its Corvette C7.R making appearances in the GTE ranks of the European Le Mans Series, FIA World Endurance Championship or Le Mans 24 Hours this year. After multiple full-season efforts with its C7.R, the team scaled back its programme in 2017, competing only at Le Mans and in the European Le Mans Series round at Monza.
Outside of its three-decade-long run competing in the GT ranks, most recently with Corvette, racing C6 and C7.Rs, Jack Leconte’s team has competed in prototype racing before. The team competed in the ELMS and at Le Mans back in 2014 with a Morgan LMP2.
If it is granted a Le Mans entry, the team still plans to compete in the two hour-long Road To Le Mans races in June with its JS P3s.
Fernando Rees has already confirmed that he will re-join the team at the wheel of the JS P217. Since 2007, the Brazilian driver has raced for Larbre on many occasions, with Aston Martin, Saleen and Corvette. Complete crews for both the LMP2 and LMP3 programmes, supported by Motul and Michelin, faithful partners of the team, will be announced in the coming weeks.
For its remaining seats, Larbre is set to organise test sessions for drivers at the Val de Vienne circuit near Poitiers, France, where the team is based.
“Larbre Competition has competed 24 times at the Le Mans 24 Hours, but only once with a prototype in 2014,” Jack Leconte, head of Larbre, said. “Then, we ran a Morgan LMP2, establishing a partnership with Jacques Nicolet and Onroak Automotive. Today, we wish to use our 30-year experience in endurance racing for a new adventure, heading towards the LMP2 and LMP3 classes.
“Choosing Ligier was obvious, as it allows us to compete in two classes, and work with Onroak Automotive again. In addition to this, we are delighted to welcome Fernando back to the team. Last year at Le Mans he set pole position in the LM GTE-Am at the wheel of our Corvette, and will be a great asset to get our Ligier JS P217 to the front of the pack.”