The French DAMS team, one of the most respected squads in open-wheel racing has confirmed it will field a pair of cars in this year's Formula Le Mans series.
The series, which sees teams of drivers in spec chassis compete against each other was introduced last year, but will see its profile boosted significantly this season as they form a class within the main Le Mans Series races. The same design cars will also form the LMPC class in the American Le Mans Series.
DAMS dominated the inaugural season, its drivers taking seven wins out of the available ten en route to clinching the title.
“Once again DAMS’s programme is shared between single-seaters and endurance,” explain Loic Duval, the team's general manager. “This versatility has been the strength of our team for several years: it enriches our engineers and mechanics and enables us to react very quickly as well as giving us valuable experience. This year, Formula Le Mans has moved up to another level as it’s now part of the Le Mans Series 1000-km races. Our aim is to be at the front on a regular basis and go for the title.”
The French team will enter a pair of cars in the five race European season. The first will be driver by the driver trio of Andrea Barlesi, Alessandro Cicognani and Gary Chalandon, while the line-up for the second car is yet to confirmed with Guillaume Bermond and Nelson Panciatici.
“Taking part of the Le Mans Series is a dream that has become reality,” enthuses 18-year-old Cicognani. “The 2010 season will play an important role in my training as a racing driver. To be able to collaborate with a team like DAMS is a marvellous opportunity, as its experience and results are a yardstick in motor racing. I can’t wait for my first event.”
“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to take part in this year’s LMS with DAMS,” echoes Barlesi. “The team has the know-how and working methods that can make the difference. The 2010 squad will be defending the title that DAMS won in 2009, and that’s why I have trained very hard to win this challenge. I’m looking forward to working with Alessandro and Gary and it promises to be a very fruitful collaboration.”
Frenchman Chalandon, the oldest of the three at 23; “I’m very happy that DAMS has chosen me to race in the Le Mans Series this season. After a learning year in 2009, my aim’s to fight for the title. This year, the Formula Le Mans cars will run in 1000-km races. I know I can count on DAMS and its twenty years’ experience in motor sport to take up the challenge.”