Duqueine Engineering are ready for the upcoming European Le Mans Series with an all-French team.
Pierre Ragues, Nelson Panciatici and Nicolas Jamin will be the three fast drivers in the teams brand new ORECA 07 Gibson LMP2 car.
The team raced in the ELMS for the two previous seasons, where they entered two LMP3 cars. The focus is now purely on LMP2, where they have the opportunity to mix with the top of the charts, with this choice of drivers.
Through the winter, they have been in contact with both ORECA and Signatech Alpine, who has plenty of experience with the car from last year. Both Panciatici and Ragues have been driving for the Signatech Alpine team, but they aren’t part of the team’s 2018 plans.
Nelson Panciatici has six Le Mans races next to his CV, having been on the podium twice. Three of the six races has been with Ragues alongside him. Panciatici has a background in single-seaters, but entered the sportscar scene in 2012. With both Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2 seats, he has been competing at the level right below Formula 1, but never managed to take the final step.
Pierre Ragues has participated in the famous 24 Hours race a total of 11 times, and has just like Panciatici finished on the podium two times. Opposite to Panciatici, Ragues has added LMP1 and GTE Am to his LMP2 experiences. Ragues and Panciatici won the ELMS title back in 2013, where they grabbed the trophy in LMP2 with the Signatech Alpine team.
Nicolas Jamin is the young driver of the team. The 22 year old racing driver has had four seasons in the USA, racing single-seaters. He won the U.S. F2000 National Championship in 2015, and finished third in the Pro Mazda Championship in the following season. He raced Indy Lights in 2017, but even though he had three wins, he only finished 7th in the Championship. He started to flirt a little with sportscars, where he raced in the IMSA Prototype Challenge in a LMP3 car. His debut weekend instantly resulted in victory in both races.
The European Le Mans Series starts in two week, when the first round of the Championship is run at Paul Ricard in the south of France.