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A Different Path

LMC - 05/04/2019 - Jeff CARTER

While high profile drivers such as Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber have made their mark in Endurance Racing after they have finished their careers in Formula One, many young drivers are choosing Endurance earlier rather than pursue the single seater category path.

In 2015 the ACO launched the LMP3 category and this, along with the establishment of the Michelin Le Mans Cup in 2016, provided a cost effective platform for drivers wishing to pursue a career in endurance racing.  This move has seen a lot of young driver re-evaluating their goals and choosing to set their sights on winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship, choosing the Michelin Le Mans Cup as a great place to start.

Thomas Laurent is a good example of a driver who chose prototypes after a successful karting career. The 20-year-old French driver is now competing for Rebellion Racing the WEC after winning Road to Le Mans in 2016 and the Asian Le Mans Series in 2018.

After three years of Formula Renault (2014-16) Colin Noble switched to sportscar. The 22-year-old Scot competed in both the Michelin Le Mans Cup and ELMS in 2018, proving his immense talent by finishing second overall after two victories in the MLMC.

Dutch driver Job Van Uitert has shown that anything is possible. After three years of racing for Ford and Formula 4, finishing as the 2017 Italian F4 Vice Champion, Van Uitert switched to the ELMS and MLMC.  While he only finished on the podium once in the MLMC, Van Uitert won the ELMS LMP3 title with RLR MSport and he will race with reigning ELMS champions G-Drive Racing in the ELMS and at Le Mans in 2019.

In 2018, 19-year-old Phil Hanson became the youngest ever overall winner of an ELMS race when he and Filipe Albuquerque won the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.  To prove it wasn’t a fluke due to the tricky track conditions, Hanson and Albuquerque won again in the season finale at Portimão for United Autosports. Hanson progressed to sportscars after a successful run in karts starting with the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup before moving up to prototypes. 

If you look at the grid for round 1 of the 2019 Michelin Le Mans Cup in Le Castellet, the number of young drivers coming through the ranks to race alongside the established names of endurance has increased and this will only enhance the racing action on offer at each and race during the 2019 season.

Actualités liées

> Change of date for the 2020 Portimão round Le 15/11/2019 à 11:00

> Relive the 2019 Season finale Le 08/11/2019 à 18:00

> What happened in Portimão Le 04/11/2019 à 16:00

> Portimão: Winners and champions reactions Le 30/10/2019 à 15:38

> DKR and Kessel Are 2019 Champions after Action Packed Race in Portimão Le 27/10/2019 à 11:41

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