There are a lot of driver’s announcements from the European Le Mans Series teams lately.
Algarve Pro Racing has announced that they’ll continue the plan with two cars, even though their former Russian sponsor isn’t a part of the team anymore.
In the LMP2 car #19, Sophia Flörsch will share it with Bent Viscaal.
Flörsch has slowly but surely developed to be a sportscar expert, after driving for Richard Mille Racing Team in 2020 and 2021 in ELMS and FIA WEC respectively. The German had also a single start for APR in 2021, when she drove in the season finale in Portimao. She did so well that she was on the card again while the team still had the Russian sponsor.
In 2020, Flörsch competed with Viscaal in FIA Formula 3 Championship. Dutch Viscaal had a bit better results that season, where he took a victory at Silverstone. In 2021, he participated in FIA Formula 2 Championship, resulting in two podium positions and P14 in the championship. This will be his first time in a sportscar. The team is still yet to announce the third driver.
Kessel Racing Ferrari #57 also has found their three drivers. The team will return in the Car Guy colours, where Takeshi Kimura will participate in a European Le Mans Series season for the first time. The team had hoped to drive in FIA WEC, but all the spots were taken, so they took a place in the ELMS series. Luckily, the team also got a starting spot at Le Mans, which will be their fourth start in the legendary race. Kimura has chosen to invite his pretty-much-fixed teammate Mikkel Jensen for another season. Jensen drove for the team for the first time in Asian Le Mans Series, but since then had helped them in the 24-hour race at Le Mans both in 2020 and 2021, as well as some warm-up races and more Asian LMS. Jensen got the chance to continue with the team since Peugeot TotalEnergies, whom the Dane has a contract with in 2022, isn’t ready with their Hypercar.
There’s another Dane in the car in both European Le Mans Series season and the 24-hour race at Le Mans. Frederik Schandorff has gotten seven more races on his already busy 2022 calendar, where he also drives for Inception Racing in GT World Challenge Europe, as well as the sprint races in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, on top of diverse duties for Lamborghini. Schandorff has cemented his name in the sportscar world in the last six months, where he proved to be fast in McLaren cars time after time, which Inception Racing has participated with in the two series. Before that, he did well with Lamborghini.
Last but not least, Absolute Racing Porsche #18 has announced their three drivers for ELMS. Andrew Haryanto was the first name being announced. He’ll get Alessio Picariello and Martin Rump as teammates. Picariello was also in the car with Indonesian Haryanto in 2021 when they competed in the FIA WEC races at Spa Francorchamps and Monza, as well as the 24-hour race at Le Mans. Picariello has already won an ELMS championship in 2020 with Proton Competition, and hence knows the majority of the tracks. Rump is a new driver in ELMS. The 26-year-old Estonian driver has driven for the team in Thailand Super Series, where he finished second in the championship in 2021. Therefore, they gave him a chance to drive a Porsche 911 RSR-19 in European. So far, the team is only on the reserve list for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
European Le Mans Series 2022 will start in a week’s time with two days of testing, before the opening race at Circuit Paul Ricard on 17 April.