Rodin Younessi will make his Le Mans debut this weekend as he joins LMP2 outfit, Boutsen Ginion Racing.
Younessi has been competing in Europe during the 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series in a McLaren MP4-12C, but will switch his McLaren for an Oreca prototype with a Nissan V8 engine alongside fellow Le Mans débutantes, Matt Downs and Frenchman Thomas Dagoneau.
“The P2 car is just a phenomenal machine,” said Younessi. “The speed, the handling and the aero and the grip level. It’s a pleasure to drive. Everything from shifting, the traction control. It’s a very nice car to drive and kind of takes me back to my open-wheel and formula car days. Essentially, it’s an open-wheel car with the wheels covered. It’s a much more pure form than GTs. I enjoy that.”
The American will be hoping to learn from Boutsen Ginion Racing boss, Thierry Boutsen, a three-time Formula 1 race winner who also has 10 starts at the Circuit de la Sarthe to his name.
“My team has been phenomenal,” Younessi continued. “They’ve been really supportive. It was kind of a last minute deal to race with them at Le Mans. In a short period of time, they’ve been great in trying to get me acclimated with the track and the car.
“Obviously the race finish is the number one goal. After that, it’s about getting better lap after lap. The target is to spend the rest of the week preparing and getting ready for the race. That’s essentially what my plan is right now.”