Photo Credit Above: CEFC Manor TRS Racing
February has been a busy month for CEFC Manor TRS Racing as it announces new corporate alliances and also drivers for the forthcoming FIA World Endurance Championship season.
Having previously announced that it will campaign two Gibson-powered ORECA 07s in the LMP2 class of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship, Manor has formed alliances with China CEFC Energy Company Ltd, ice-cream brand Baxi and Talent Racing Sports (TRS). As a result, in 2017 the team will be presented as CEFC Manor TRS Racing.
“We are really excited to be returning to the World Endurance Championship this year and we are particularly excited to be starting our long-term relationship with CEFC, TRS and Baxi,” said President and Sporting Director of Manor, Graeme Lowdon. “We learnt so much in our augural year in sports car racing and we are now looking forward to taking on a very competitive field in LMP2 for what will be our 28th year of racing.”
Joe Li, President of Talent Racing Sports is also excited about the opportunities that new partnership and season offer.
“It is a great honour to work with a legendary racing team like Manor,” said Li. “We believe the partnership will go beyond the LMP2 in WEC. We will introduce more Chinese brands to such a fantastic global racing series.”
Subsequent to the partnership announcement, CEFC Manor TRS Racing has announced three of its 2017 drivers.
Monterrey-based Roberto Gonzalez has returned to the team, having competed with Manor in the last two rounds of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship.
“I am very excited to be joining CEFC Manor TRS Racing for the 2017 WEC season,” said Gonzalez. “After my brief participation with the team last year, I really felt at home. I am thankful for the opportunity with the team and I am feeling very motivated for the season ahead.”
Swiss driver Simon Trummer will also be joining CEFC Manor TRS Racing for 2017. Trummer contested the 2015 and 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship seasons as a member of By Kolles Racing Team in the LMP1 class. 2017 will be his first season in the ultra-competitive LMP2 class.
“I am very grateful to John Booth and Graeme Lowdon for their belief in me,” said Trummer. “This year a new era begins in LMP2 with new powerful cars that will be significantly quicker and therefore more challenging. To go for podiums in this competitive class is our target.”
The most recent driver announcement has been that of Jonathan Hirschi. The Swiss driver’s career stretches back to 2004 and Hirschi has extensive experience in the LMP2 class, having competed in the category on two previous occasions at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Jonathan Hirschi said: “I’m really happy to join CEFC Manor TRS Racing for WEC this season. After three seasons in ELMS I am really happy to be taking part in WEC and to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
The 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship opens with the 6 Hours of Silverstone on April 16.