Four-time World Touring Car Champion Yvan Muller and gentleman driver Laurent Millara join forces to create a new driver-spotting programme: Talent MRacing X Ligier. The aim is to allow a driver to get his or her start in endurance racing in the single-make, Ligier European Series, held in support of the European Le Mans Series meetings. On 25 and 26 November 2021, a two-day selection process will take place at the Magny-Cours Club Circuit and F1 Circuit. The laureate will win a complete season in the 2022 Ligier European Series behind the wheel of an MRacing Ligier JS2 R, worth 100,000 euros. As a bonus, the winner will also receive coaching from Yvan Muller and Yann Ehrlacher.
Offering a driver a chance to break into endurance racing
The MRacing X Ligier Talent concept is simple: help a driver break into and progress in the world of endurance racing. “Many drivers have succeeded in making a career in motorsport thanks to initiatives such as this,” explains Yvan Muller, four-time WTCC World Champion and MRacing Team Manager. “We launched a similar project a few years ago with a selection process on a simulator. Laurent and I have been working since then to revive this project and help a driver get his or her start in endurance racing”.
“When you have the opportunity to help and pass on your passion, you don’t hesitate,” explains Laurent Millara, gentleman competitor and long-time MRacing team driver. “This is very dear to me. There are so many drivers today who deserve a chance to go further and who need a helping hand.”
A season in the Ligier European Series in an MRacing Ligier JS2 R
MRacing has chosen the Ligier European Series, which was created in 2020 by French constructor Ligier Automotive and the European Le Mans Series teams, to launch its new detection programme. The winner will be offered a complete season in 2022 with the MRacing team in one of its Ligier JS2 R cars, worth €100,000, VAT included.
The series was designed as the base of the endurance pyramid, a springboard for drivers aiming to start their career in the sport and then progress to the Michelin Le Mans Cup and the European Le Mans Series, and, to one day, reach the Holy Grail, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Organised by the European Le Mans Series teams during its race weekends, the series offers drivers all the keys to getting started in the discipline and valuable exposure to the world’s leading endurance constructors and teams.
MRacing has been competing in the series for the past two years. In 2020, it just missed out on winning the title, finishing runner-up in the Ligier JS2 R category. In 2021, with two Ligier JS2 Rs, the team is currently at the top of the provisional Ligier JS2 R general classification. The team’s Silver driver Natan Bihel leads the championship, and Laurent Millara is firmly in third place. The winner of the Talent MRacing X Ligier will benefit from all the team’s experience in this championship and the support of Yvan Muller and Yann Ehrlacher who have won together a total of five World Championship titles in the WTCC and WTCR.
“It’s an affordable race format,” says Laurent. “The Ligier JS2 R is a reliable car and very easy to drive. It’s the ideal vehicle to get started in competition and endurance racing. The series races on the best European circuits and has impressive media exposure with meetings held on the same weekend as the European Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup endurance championships.”
A two-day selection process at Magny-Cours
A two-day selection process will be held at the Magny-Cours circuit in France on 25 and 26 November 2021. A complete programme awaits the participants. On 25 November, the Magny-Cours Club Circuit will be the venue for day one. Before climbing into the cockpit of the Ligier JS2 R, participants will receive a briefing from Yvan Muller and a presentation of the Ligier JS2 R by Ligier Automotive. The participants will set off for two series of four exploratory laps and one series of five timed laps. The average of the three laps run in the timed series will determine the ten finalists of the opening day of selection.
The following day, the grand finale will take place on the Magny-Cours F1 circuit. After two series of four laps, the finalists will compete in a final five-lap timed session. The average of the three laps in the final run will determine the standings of the day. The ten finalists will then be interviewed by a jury composed of Yvan Muller, a physical and mental trainer, and a motor racing journalist. Through this interview, their state of mind, motivation and the quality of their project will be evaluated. This interview will be decisive to determine the winner.
Drivers must be 16 years of age or older on the selection day and not be categorised as “Platinum” or “Gold” by the FIA to participate.