Thursday 2 June 2016

Will Stevens replaces Nathanaël Berthon at G-Drive Racing in Le Mans

Today, G-Drive racing announced that they will part ways with driver Nathanaël Berthon with immediate effect. Will Stevens, who is currently driving for Manor, will take his seat at Le Mans.

Nathanaël Berthon joined the team at the beginning of the year to make his FIA WEC LMP2 debut in the GDrive entered ORECA 05-Nissan. The year started well with a solid third position at Silverstone, followed by more points accrued at Spa last month.

27 year-old Berthon arrived at G-Drive Racing with an impressive CV having been a front-runner in Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2. The Frenchman joined Roman Rusinov and Rene Rast in the No.26 G-Drive Racing ORECA-Nissan LMP2 car after making a name for himself in the ELMS and WEC in previous seasons.

“I would like to thanks Nathanaël for his efforts with the team in 2016,” said G-Drive Racing’s David Clark. “We achieved two solid results in the first races at Silverstone and Spa and he showed he can be part of a front running team and we wish him every success in the future”

Will Stevens, who was one of the stars of the recent Spa FIA WEC round is being loaned to G-Drive Racing by Manor for the Le Mans 24 Hours only. Stevens will return to the Manor team for the rest of the 2016 WEC season.

24 year-old Stevens, who has a stellar pedigree in a variety of series ranging from Formula Renault 3.5 to Formula One, joins G-Drive Racing for his first Le Mans 24 Hours this month. Stevens will get his first laps with the team at the official Le Mans test day on June 5.

Will Stevens, Driver No.26 G-Drive ORECA-Nissan

“The offer to join G-Drive specifically for Le Mans and share the car with Rene and Roman was compelling. My partnership with Rene at WRT Audi is working well and with his and Roman’s experience in this race, it offered me a race winning opportunity which I’m pleased to accept. I’m grateful to the Manor WEC Team for releasing me for this occasion and we will continue to work together for the remainder of their first season in endurance racing. I’m very much looking forward to my first 24-hour race within this line-up and am very grateful to G-Drive for the opportunity. I’m enjoying the whole endurance racing scene and no doubt my first Le Mans will be a special event in my career”.

Alexander Krylov, PJSC Gazprom Neft Regional Sales Director and G-Drive Racing General manager

“We are very happy to welcome Will to the team. We know that Will is an excellent professional who can add a great deal to our already impressive line-up of Roman Rusinov and Rene Rast.

“The plan with Will made sense for us as he already has recent knowledge of the ORECA. He is extremely quick and has a good understanding of how to get the maximum out of an LMP2 car. The fact he knows Rene well from GT racing will also be a significant help as he integrates in to the team.”

Update : Roberto Merhi will take Stevens' place in the #44 Manor Oreca 05/Nissan. 

Kristof Vermeulen.