Simon Phillips will join the Le Mans Series for the final round of the 2010 season after making his series debut in Hungary with Team RLR.
With Warren Hughes only available to Team TLR for the Hungary round, Phillips will join the squad for the Autosport 1000km race over the weekend of September 10 – 12 and continue with the drive throughout the 2011 season.
Team-mates Barry Gates and Rob Garofall come from a similar background as Phillips after graduating from national level endurance racing. The 46-year old has been a big part of the team after being involved in the extensive testing programme throughout the 2010 season.
Phillips admitted that he’s looking forward to stepping up to the challenge: “I’m very much looking forward to joining the team at Silverstone. I’ve been involved in endurance racing for six years now and I think to be able to compete in the P2 category of the Le Mans Series is really the pinnacle.”
Talking of the previous round at Hungary he said: “I was really pleased for the team that they got off to such a good start in the previous round in Hungary. For the boys in the garage it was a big progression for them to step up to the Le Mans Series for the first time. The way they handled themselves was superb, it was a very committed and professional performance. We’re all still gelling as a team so at Silverstone we want to get another solid finish under our belts with a view to building for next season.”
“From a personal point of view if I can bring the car back to the pits in one piece to hand over to Rob [Garofall] for the final stint I will be happy. Mind you, I’m sure once I’m sitting in the car ready to go my expectations will kick up a gear! Ultimately we are all going into this aiming to achieve our long-term goal of taking a class win at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and I’m delighted to be able to play a part in that.” he added.
Team RLR team principal Nick Reynolds was happy with the decision for Phillips to make the step-up to full time driver: “We’re delighted to have Simon on board. We have been planning this project for a long time and Simon has been involved behind the scenes, so it will be great to finally see him out there on race day at Silverstone. It will be a big challenge for him but when you see how well Barry [Gates] and Rob [Garofall] adapted in Hungary I’m sure he will be able to do the same. It’s important for us to progress steadily with a view to next year and the more time we get together out there on the track the better. All three of our drivers know Silverstone well though so there should be no surprises for them, they can go out there and give it everything knowing they are well prepared.”