24 Hours of Le MansEuropean Le Mans Series

Sebastien Loeb Racing To Make Le Mans Debut

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Sebastien Loeb Racing competed at Paul Ricard and Donington Park in the ELMS last season (Photo Credit: ORECA)

Sebastien Loeb Racing will compete in the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans and European Le Mans Series.

An entry to the La Sarthe classic has been in the eyes of Sebastien Loeb Racing, cofounded by Sebastien Loeb and Dominique Heintz, since its creation in 2011. The team contested several races in 2012 with its Oreca 03 machine, including a podium at the 6 Hours of Le Castellet.

“We have worked hard in order to set up this endurance programme and we are very proud
of our invitation at the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Heintz. “We have dreamed of Le Mans from the moment Sébastien Loeb Racing was born and that will become a dream come true in a couple of weeks. This first participation will be an important step for us all. We are aware that Le Mans is a unique legendary race which needs to be approached with much humility and wisdom. We want to remain ambitious nevertheless. We have a well-tried package and we will line-up an efficient trio of drivers. Rene Rast is our first driver. Just like us, he will be discovering the race, but he is young, fast and motivated. He embodies the team’s values perfectly.”

Rene Rast will make his Le Mans debut at the 2014 event, having seen success between 2008 and 2012 in the Porsche Carrera Cup. He has also made trips to the top step of the podium at the 24 Hours of Spa and the Rolex 24 at Daytona. 2013 saw Rast take two FIA GT Series wins as well as two wins in the ADAC GT Masters.

“Le Mans has always been among my dreams. It is the greatest and the most important endurance race in the world,” said Rast. “It is a pleasure and an honour to be a driver for such a team as Sébastien Loeb Racing. I drove against that team last year and I could see how professionally they were working. I think we will have both a strong squad and a very good driver lineup. Crossing the finish line is my main aim, it would be a dream to end up on the podium. Driving a prototype will be a first for me, but I did some years of formula racing and I know how a downforce car works. I hope I will quickly adapt to it. I have to learn but I am committed and determined to deliver a good performance!”

While the main focus for Sebastien Loeb racing will be the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team will also compete in the European Le Mans Series, fielding an Oreca 03 in the top class and an Audi R8 LMS in GTC.

“The European Le Mans Series is a coherent choice in the building of our global programme,”
continued Heintz. “It will be our return to prototypes and we are already familiar with the ELMS as we took part in it in 2012. Besides the 24 Hours of Le Mans’s preparation, we will also have the opportunity to fight for the first place overall and our partners are essentially from Europe. Last year, the championship proved to be very attractive, with great on-track battles. This decision is all the more logical as it allows us to line-up the Audi R8 LMS ultra in a second programme alongside the French GT Championship. With that car we will be participating in both a ‘sprint’ series and a more ‘endurance’ style series. It is very interesting not only for our technical crew which will complete its field of action, but also for our partners. And we are aware that the Audi R8 LMS ultra is reliable in both competition styles! The team’s third season promises to be simply fascinating.”

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Based in Mid-Wales, James joined TCF at the start of the 2013 season, covering a range of disciplines, predominantly Motorcycle Road Racing and NASCAR. Follow him on Twitter @JCCharman
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