The news DSC trailed at the end of last year was indeed true, single-seater stalwart and current F3, F2 and IndyCar team Carlin has today been confirmed as a newcomer to the ELMS’ LMP2 ranks with a Dallara P217 for British driver Jack Manchester.
Originally, it appeared that the team would be campaigning one of High Class Racing’s Dallara P217s, though the team, DSC understands, will use the chassis SMP Racing campaigned last season for its debut season.
DSC first learned of this significant move for Trevor Carlin’s team when it obtained pictures (below) of Manchester out testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (the circuit where High Class Racing is based), with a Carlin team member present for Manchester’s first run behind the wheel of an P217. He has since completed a second test in the P217 at Motorland Aragon.
Carlin hasn’t ever competed in top-level prototype racing, but should fit right in with the ELMS regulars in LMP2 (this year’s field featuring 18 cars) after years of experience in top-level racing.
Manchester explained to DSC after testing the car that due to his height, the Dallara chassis is the only one he can drive comfortably. He also confirmed that both tests in Spain went well.
“I would like to thank Trevor and the team at Carlin Racing for this incredibly exciting and unique opportunity,” Manchester told DSC yesterday prior to the announcement from Carlin.
“Racing a Dallara LMP2 in the European Le Mans Series presents the perfect next step in my career, especially with a team that has the pedigree of Carlin.
“Although this is something new for both of us, I can’t think of a better team to take on this challenge with. I’m really looking forward to the season ahead!”
The team will be run its P2 operation from its Farnham workshop in the UK. It set to compete in the ELMS as part of its inital programme, though it has confirmed that it will also enter the Asian Le Mans series in the future.
The remaining two drivers which the team will run this year alongside Manchester are set to be confirmed soon. DSC believes some very significant names from top-line sportscar racing have been in the fray during the inception of this programme.
“The whole team are very excited about our move into LMP2,” Trevor Carlin said. “It’s an exciting category and a move that we’ve been assessing for a while. We see a lot of great drivers now move up the single-seater ranks and aim for professional drives in endurance racing rather than Formula 1, which shows the high respect this category of racing is held.
“For us, it’s another opportunity to hold onto and work with some great former Carlin drivers who are now at the professional level. In Jack, we have a very promising young British driver, right at the start of his career. We’re excited to work with him further and help him show his potential in LMP2.”
The full ELMS entry can be found HERE >>>