Larbre Competition will return to its roots as it gears up for a two-car assault on the Porsche Carrera Cup France.
The French team made its debut in the Porsche series 25 years ago before going on to achieve success on the world stage, including five class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the LMGTE Am Trophy in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Wanting to make an immediate impression on the 2014 season, Larbre have signed reigning Porsche Carrera Cup France champion, Gael Castelli, to lead the team’s charge. Castelli won in his family-run team in 2013, having enjoyed success in the domestic Peugeot THP Spider Cup and Seat Leon Supercopa in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
“I am very happy to be joining Larbre Competition and their Team Manager Jack Leconte, who I met at the Val de Vienne circuit in Le Vigeant,” said Castelli. “I would like to thank him for selecting me to race in the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup France. It’s great to know that Jack noticed my potential. Working together I’ll be able to make further progress thanks to his structured and professional team, as well as gaining greater experience that allows me to take another step forward. I cannot wait for the season to start; the introduction of a new car sees everything re-set to zero, so we’ll be working hard to ensure we’re at the front from the outset of the championship. I would be very proud to help Larbre Competition secure the title, as well as adding another to my own racing CV.”
The 24-year-old will be aiming to lay the foundations to a successful GT racing career in the series that has forged many top-level sportscar drivers’ careers, including 2007 champion Patrick Pilet , a works Porsche GT driver who lent his support to Castelli’s selection.
“As the starting point of the Larbre Competition story, the Porsche Carrera Cup France holds a special place in my heart,” added team manager Jack Leconte. “I competed there myself for seven seasons while also running drivers in the premier class, yielding five titles. The exceptional quality of Porsche competition cars provides great motivation for my technical team. We have contested 17 seasons in the Carrera Cup with a host of different models, from the 944 through to the 997, and when I saw the new 991 I could tell it was an exceptional machine. So the decision has been made. Larbre Competition will return to the Carrera Cup and race the way we believe is correct: without Balance of Performance!”
Larbre Competition is expected to announce its second driver at the Paul Ricard pre-season test day.