In the wake of the official announcement of the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours entry, a number of teams have confirmed additional details of their driver line-ups for the race now that their entry is confirmed.
Eurasia Motorsport has confirmed that their Ligier JS P217 will feature the New Zealand Racing ‘All Black’ colour scheme featured by one of their pair of cars in the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series.
Supercars superstar Shane van Gisbergen is set to make his Le Mans debut with the team, after racing in the Ligier at The Bend on Asian Le Mans Series competition last month.
Van Gisbergen is set to be joined by fellow Kiwi Daniel Gaunt and by Japanese gentleman driver Nobuya Yamanaka.
Mark Goddard, Eurasia Motorsport Team Principal: “This will be our fourth 24 Hours of Le Mans and after a season off, it will be fabulous to be back for what is the biggest and most spectacular race in the world. Together with BAM Motorsport Promotions and Nobu Yamanaka, we have enjoyed a comprehensive sports car programme over the last 18-months and it all leads up to this event.
“We secured three runner-up positions in the Asian Le Mans Series over the winter, as well a pole positions, so we know we have the speed to be very competitive. Nobu has learned a great deal and it is a real pleasure to help him in achieving his dream, racing at Le Mans.
“Daniel has done a great job throughout the four races he’s been with us and brings continuity to this programme. Shane is an astonishing driver, the way he came in and set the pace at The Bend with zero testing or Prototype experience underlines his raw talent. It’s going to be a busy few months now as we prepare, but we can’t wait to get started.”
Inter Europol meanwhile have added Rene Binder to the already confirmed Jakub ‘Kuba’ Smiechowski not only for Le Mans but also for the full 2020 ELMS:
Rene Binder: “I’m excited with the opportunity to continue to prove myself in the European Le Mans Series and really appreciate the call up from Sascha Fassbender from Inter Europol Competition team. Following a month of negotiations with different teams, they have made me a proposal I simply couldn’t turn down.
“The team is pretty young but they have all the resources and capabilities to become a top team in this extremely competitive championship.
“I’m really looking forward to working towards this goal together with my new teammates.”
Sascha Fassbender (team manager): “We are very happy to welcome Rene to the team. With him, we have a strong partner at Kuba’s side. Both have known each other for many years and drove for the same team in German karting.
“Our knowledge of the LMP2 has improved over the last year and with all the races we did. And with Binder joining the crew we think and hope we will get the results we have worked so hard for.”
Thunderhead Carlin Racing meanwhile will be LMP2 debutants at Le Mans, their Dallara Gibson invited after a very strong run in the Asian Le Mans Series that yielded a pair of race wins at Sepang and Buriram.
Jack Manchester is named on the official entry with the team immediately confirming that Ben Barnicoat will join him at Le Mans with the third driver set to be confirmed shortly.
Thunderhead CEO Glen Manchester: “I’m absolutely delighted to see the Thunderhead Carlin Racing team head to one of the most prestigious races in the world.
“It’s a fantastic achievement considering it’s a little over 12 months after our first race together. The progress the team have made and the performances from our drivers in the last year has been fantastic to watch and it’s a credit to all involved. We can build on this experience in 2020 and we are all excited to see what this young team can achieve together at Le Mans.”
Trevor Carlin: “This is a very special day for all of us at the team. Taking part in our first season of endurance racing last year in European Le Mans Series, to becoming race winners in Asian Le Mans Series and now to be able to plan our participation in one of the greatest races in the world is a dream come true.
“Thanks to the ACO for selecting us to be part of this event and of course to Thunderhead for the investment and belief to allow the team to show its potential. The hard work is already underway to prepare for European Le Mans Series and we’re honoured to add the 24 Hours of Le Mans to our calendar.”