Manor has announced that 21-year-old Matt Rao will be joining its driver line-up for the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Rao began his racing career in karts in 2009, progressing to cars in 2011 when he finished 2nd in the Formula Ford GB Scholarship class. In 2012 he won the Duratec class as well as finishing in 10th place overall in the championship. 2014 saw Rao finish as runner-up in the British Formula 3 Championship before he graduated to FIA European F3 with Fortec Motorsports in 2015. Rao was given his first experience of driving prototypes when he was invited by Signatech Alpine to take part in last year’s end-of season WEC Rookie test in Bahrain.
“Manor has a history of working with some great young drivers and we are delighted to welcome another talented youngster to the team,” said Manor WEC Team Principal, John Booth. “Matt is a very exciting prospect. Last year’s WEC Rookie Test provided him with an opportunity to get to grips with LM P2 machinery for the first time and we are now looking forward to going racing with him in 2016 and seeing what results we can achieve together.
Matt Rao commented: “I’m really pleased to be part of this exciting new challenge with Manor. They have a fantastic reputation and I know that their experience and professionalism will deliver great results. LM P2 has become an ultra-competitive series which is full of top quality drivers and teams,. I am looking forward to The Prologue and driving the ORECA 05 for the first time.”
Manor’s driver line-up is now complete, the team having previously announced the signing Will Stevens and the return of James Jakes. The Prologue will be held on the 25th and 26th of March with the first round of the championship at Silverstone on the 17th of April.