Wednesday 17 January 2018

Larbre Competition moves to the Michelin Le Mans Cup and applies for Le Mans

Larbre Competition has applied to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest for the entry of two Ligier JS P3s in the Michelin Le Mans Cup and will also submit a request for one Ligier JS P217 in the Le Mans 24 Hours, for what would be the French outfit’s 25th participation.

For the past 30 years, Larbre Competition built up a strong cv in the GT ranks with various manufacturers, including Porsche, Ferrari, Chrysler, Aston Martin, Saleen and Corvette. Its first and so far only appearance in a prototype class was in 2014 when Jack Leconte's team entered a Morgan LMP2 in the European Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

The French team now switches from its Corvette C7R to a pair of Ligier JS P3s in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, the European championship offering six rounds including the two-hour Road to Le Mans race. Additionally, Larbre is hoping to partake in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. While its two JS P3s will compete in the Road to Le Mans, the team has also requested an entry for the 24 Hours with a Ligier JSP217.

Fernando Rees has already been appointed as the designated driver for the JSP217.  The Brazilian driver has raced for Larbre on many occasions in the past with Aston Martin, Saleen and Corvette. His last outing with the team was at last seasons 24 Hours of Le Mans where he shared the "Human" Corvette with Romain Brandela and Christian Philippon. 

Whether Larbre Competition will get its entry for the 24 hours remains doubtful with already an increase in auto entries through the growing FIA WEC field and lots of teams from the European and Asian Le Mans Series applying for an entry in June.

Jack Leconte, Larbre Competition Team Manager: “Larbre Competition has competed 24 times at the Le Mans 24 Hours, but only once with a prototype in 2014. Then, we ran a Morgan LMP2, establishing a partnership with Jacques Nicolet and Onroak Automotive. Today, we wish to use our 30-year experience in endurance racing for a new adventure, heading towards the LMP2 and LMP3 classes. Choosing Ligier was obvious, as it allows us to compete in two classes, and work with Onroak Automotive again. In addition to this, we are delighted to welcome Fernando back to the team. Last year at Le Mans he set pole position in the LM GTE-Am at the wheel of our Corvette, and will be a great asset to get our Ligier JS P217 to the front of the pack.”