Press Release – April 14, 2023
Just days remain before season four of the Ligier European Series gets underway. The series organised by the European Le Mans Series returns to the Catalan circuit in Barcelona, Spain, with some 20 Ligier JS2 R and Ligier JS P4s. With new teams and drivers from around the world, the competition will be fierce. The action kicks off on 21 and 22 April!
Who will dethrone the Spanish-Polish team Team Virage, 2022 JS P4 category champion, with French prodigy Gillian Henrion? Will the British RLR MSport team, 2022 Ligier JS2 R category champion with Kuwaiti talent Haytham Qarajouli, withstand the onslaught of the competition? In the meantime, we break down the entry list for this fourth campaign.
JS P4 category
- Seven teams representing four different nationalities contest the Ligier JS P4 category.
- The majority of the teams are opting for a two-driver line-up.
- There is a nearly 40-year age difference between the youngest and oldest drivers in the category.
- For its second season in the championship, Team Virage is tripling its entry to defend its crown. The 2022 champion team takes its number of Ligier JS P4 entries from one to three. At the controls are five drivers who have all had a taste of the series last year, either for a single race or the season.
- In the #1 Ligier JS P4 will be the American duo of Lance Fenton and Kevin Madsen, who discovered the series during the Le Mans support race in June 2022.
- In the #60, British driver George King, who has a season in the category under his belt after his year with Monza Garage in 2022, is teamed with Portuguese driver Bernardo Pinheiro, who will race the entire campaign after a one-off drive in the Portimão season-finale last October.
- After his experience in Portugal last year, Romanian Mihnea Stefan will drive solo in the #48.
- The Italian Monza Garage team also bolsters its ranks with two cars, the #11 and the #4 entered for HP Racing Team. The Taiwanese duo of Ray-Yu Wang, who has prior experience in the championship, the team and the car after a meeting in 2022, shares the cockpit of the #11 with Chun-Ting Chou. The #4 car features an-all Greek crew consisting of Georgios-Periklis Kolovos and Kaitatzis Panagiotis. A first for the series and a first for these new drivers with a Ligier JS P4.
- The Polish Inter Europol Competition team, a regular fixture on the circuits with its LM P2 and LM P3 cars, makes its Ligier European Series debut with the #14 car for Canadian Fareed Ali, who is also a newcomer to the series and the car.
- RLR MSport, Champion of the JS2 R category in 2022, moves to the JS P4 category with the #75. Behind the wheel will be the young Kuwaiti Haytham Qarajouli, who won the JS2 R title with RLR MSport and benefited from the €100,000 offered to the champion(s) of the GT category to continue their ascent in endurance. He will share the seat with Mexican teenager Ian Aguilera.
- The French Pegasus Racing team has two Ligier JS P4s for 2023. The first, the #17, is entered for its regular French driver duo, Anthony Nahra and Dimitri Enjalbert. At the commands of the #16, a Japanese driver Yuki Tanaka who got to know the car and the series at the 2022 24 Hours of Le Mans support race and a Frenchman David Caussanel, who ran the JS2 R for a couple of events in 2022.
- The Italian LR Motorsport team returns with the #7 Ligier JS P4 after a debut season in 2022. Italian driver Simone Riccitelli is back in the Ligier JS P4 alongside Swiss driver Jacopo Mazza, who makes his debut in the championship.
- The French-flagged Les Deux Arbres team will field a Ligier JS P4, the #50, for the Franco-Swiss duo of Louis Rossi, the French motorbike racer who tested the Ligier JS P4 in the 2022 season finale, and Steve Zacchia, the Swiss driver who competed in several races with Les Deux Arbres in 2020 and 2021.
- Four Ligier JS P4 teams are also entering a Ligier JS2 R.
JS2 R category
- Six teams representing three different nationalities embark on a JS2 R campaign.
- Most of the teams opted for solo line-ups.
- There is nearly a 50-year difference between the least experienced driver and the oldest gentleman driver.
- The French ANS Motorsport team enters a Ligier JS2 R for the first time this season, the #42, for Frenchman Julien Lemoine. The team made its first foray into the discipline at the 24 Hours of Le Mans support race in June 2022.
- RLR MSport is back for a second season in the Ligier JS2 R category with a crew sure to make headlines. Behind the wheel of the #10 car is the world’s first and only “Racing Reverend”, Simon Butler, and Spanish driver Maximus Mayer.
- The French CTF Performance team returns for a third consecutive season with two Ligier JS2 Rs entrusted to three French drivers, Fabien Delaplace and Laurent Piguet in the #96 and Gilles Poret in the #95.
- Pegasus Racing returns to the JS2 R with Frenchman Christophe Weber in the #29 along with the French newcomer Jordan Meyer.
- LR Motorsport is strengthening its ranks with, in addition to its Ligier JS P4, a Ligier JS2 R entered for the season, the #43, for a new driver, the Italian David Rodorigo.
- Les Deux Arbres is fielding a Ligier JS2 R for the first time this season, the #86, for French driver Jacques Nicolet.
The first Heat of the season begins on Friday 21 April, with two 40-minute free practice sessions at 9 am and 1.50 pm. Then two 15-minute qualifying sessions at 5 and 5.20 pm. The serious business commences on Saturday with two one-hour races, the first at 9 am and the second at 1:30 pm.
Both races will be streamed live on the series’ YouTube channel and Facebook page.
To view the provisional entry list, CLICK HERE.
To view the Barcelona Heat programme, CLICK HERE.