Binder, Stevens Confirmed to Panis-Barthez Competition’s 2019 ELMS Line-up

by Paul Hensby
Panis-Barthez Competition - Silverstone

Rene Binder and Will Stevens have been confirmed as the first two drivers for Panis-Barthez Competition’s line-up for the 2019 European Le Mans Series campaign.

Binder, who raced a handful of races for Juncos Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018 after previous campaigns in both the GP2 Series and World Series Formula V8 3.5 championships, will make the full-time switch to sportscars with Panis-Barthez next year, which could also include an outing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“It’s a huge pleasure and honour for me to race for Panis-Barthez Competition in the 2019 season and I want to thank Olivier Panis, Fabien Barthez, Sarah et Simon Abadie and the entire team for their faith in me,” said Binder.

“It’s going to be really special to go into the European Le Mans Series and 24 Hours at Le Mans with the team of a former Monaco Grand Prix winner and I can’t wait to take the Ligier LMP2 out for our first test.

“As said before it will be a very important and special experience for me to compete in the most important endurance events next year combining IMSA with ELMS. I can only say thanks again to our sponsors, partners, family and to everyone who believes in our success.”

Former Caterham and Marussia F1 Team racer Stevens remains for a second campaign after helping the team to a pair of podium finishes in 2018 as well as a pole position at Silverstone, and he cannot wait to build on his performances from this year during the next twelve months.

“I’m very happy to stay with Panis-Barthez Competition next year,” said Stevens.  “We showed in 2018 how strong we are together, and the great results we had at the end of the season motivated me to stay: we have a job to continue and to finish.

“After a pole position and two podiums last year, we will be doing all we can to win our first race in 2019 – and then another one. And if we are consistent enough, why not fight for the 2019 championship?

“Of course, I have Le Mans in mind, as we were the closest competitors to G-Drive last year. I can’t wait to race there again with Olivier, Simon, Sarah and all the team who have faith in me and give me so much confidence. It’s time to pay them back for what they bring to me.

“I don’t know Rene Binder, my new teammate, but I can see that he has always been competitive wherever he raced: in F3, in Renault 3.5, GP2 or IndyCar. He has quite a lot of experience as well and I have no doubt we will get along well and be a very strong line-up in 2019.”

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