French driver David Zollinger has been named a late substitute for Mark Patterson at Algarve Pro Racing, who was injured in a crash last week in the ELMS pre-event test at Monza.
Regrettably, 66-year old, who sustained pelvic fractures in the accident, will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, forcing him to relinquish his seat in the 87th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month.
Thus, Algarve Pro Racing welcomes Zollinger as a replacement. The 36-year old has experience in touring cars and single seaters, as well as a variety of sportscars. He has two Le Mans starts to his name, his first in 2010, and his second in 2017, when he finished 10th in LMP2.
Zollinger will join Algarve Pro Racing for two days of testing alongside reigning ELMS LMP2 Champion Andrea Pizzitola at Motorland Aragon, Spain on Wednesday and Thursday (15-16 May) ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours. He will then participate in the Le Mans Test Day before the race week begins.
“I am very happy and excited to be joining Algarve Pro Racing in the 87th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Zollinger.
“Not only am I joining a very professional and high-performing team, but I am also joining forces with Andrea Pizzitola, a former pilot of my academy, Driving-Koncept, and John Falb, a former ELMS LMP3 Champion.
“I thank Samantha and Stewart Cox for their warm welcome to the team and also Mark Patterson for accepting me in the project as a last-minute substitute.”
Algarve Pro Racing Team Principal, Stewart Cox, added: “We are delighted to be welcoming David (Zollinger) to the Algarve Pro Racing fold for what is the highlight of our season – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“Of course, we are sad and disappointed that Mark Patterson can’t take up his seat at Le Mans and we will miss him greatly, but it’s comforting to have found a strong and experienced substitute who will undoubtedly represent Algarve Pro Racing well at Le Mans next month.”
An update on the condition of Mark Patterson can be found on DSC HERE.