Will Stevens will make a return to LMP2 endurance racing in 2018 after signing with Panis-Barthez Competition to race in both the European Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Briton, who raced for the Marussia Manor Racing team in Formula 1 back in 2015, last raced LMP2 machinery back in 2016 when he followed Manor in the FIA World Endurance Championship, before switching to GT machinery in both the Blancpain GT Series and selected WEC events last year, including a victorious appearance with JMW Motorsport at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Stevens will team up with Timothe Buret and Julien Canal for his third Le Mans appearance alongside a full season in the European Le Mans Series, and the twenty-six-year-old is excited to be returning to LMP2 machinery.
“The year after the end of my experience in F1, I realized how exciting it is to drive an endurance prototype,” said Stevens. “I felt really good from the beginning in LMP2, in fact I finished second in my category for my first Le Mans 24 Hours.
“To complete my experience as driver, last year, I focused on GT’s, but for the season 2018 I’m excited to be back on a LMP2. Those are the cars I love to drive, a good mix of powerful engine, strong aero and competitive tyres.”
Team boss Olivier Panis, who set up the team with former football Fabien Barthez ahead of the 2016 season, is excited with the line-up they’ve managed to attract in 2018, and he hopes they can bring them towards the front of the field.
“For the 2018 season, we managed to keep on board Timothe Buret, associated to the huge experience and records of Julien Canal and a top talent like Will Stevens,” said Panis.
“With this mix, I am sure we will be one of the strongest team on the grid. I can’t wait to see them in action.”