As trailed by DSC last month Panis Barthez Competition have become the latest team to commit to what looks set to be a significantly enhanced grid for the forthcoming 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series.
Led by team principal Olivier Panis and team managers Sarah and Simon Abadie, the team’s driver line-up is now confirmed with the highly experienced Matthieu Lahaye, his brother Jean-Baptiste and François Hériau combined in a Judd V8 engined Ligier JS P2 numbered #35, the Asian Series still utilising the last iteration of LMP2 machinery.
Olivier Panis: “The team is delighted to welcome this competitive line-up, which has proven during the past seasons a lot of promising things in ELMS, racing in the LMP3 Category.
“Matthieu already had an experience in LMP2, Jean-Baptiste never stop improving on track and François is one of the best Gentlemen drivers.
“We are glad to bring the Panis-Barthez Compétition team in ALMS. The team, after three years of activity, is now well experienced and has always improved its level of performance in ELMS and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Being able to show our performance overseas is very positive for us, especially with such a line-up, whom will give all it has to succeed in this new challenge”.
Matthieu Lahaye: “It is really an amazing news for us to have been able to reach an agreement to be able to participate to the ALMS Championship, furthermore with Panis-Barthez Compétition.
“With Sarah and Simon Abadie, it is a friendship story, almost feeling like a family, lasting for over 15 years, we have shared a lot on and off tracks. By the way, I was the last teammate of Simon in the Mégane Trophy.
“I also know well Olivier Panis as we rub shoulders and fight on track in LMS, ILMC and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We have been following them since the creation of the team, we know the high level of performance of the team and we know that we are in the optimal conditions to be able to have good results in Asia.
“I am privileged to already know two of the tracks, Shanghai and Fuji, and my experience in LMP2 will therefore help me to give the best advice to my inseparable teammates. All the human and technical factors reunited presage a wonderful sporting adventure!”