Photo Above: Panis-Barthez Compétition
Panis-Barthez Compétition, who finished eighth in the LMP2 Teams Championship and seventh in the LMP3 Teams Championship last season has announced its driver line-ups for the 2017 European Le Mans Series.
For its LMP2 entry, the #23 Ligier JS P217 will be piloted by Fabien Barthez, Timothé Buret and Nathanaël Berthon.
Buret, who drove for Panis-Barthez Compétition in the 2016 European Le Mans Series is delighted to be back with the team in 2017.
“It is the first time I have the opportunity to spend two seasons in a row in the same team,” said Buret. “It gives me more confidence with the same will to offer the best of my work. It is very reassuring to team up with Fabien who shares his experience as a top-level athlete.”
Nathanaël Berthon, who had a disjointed 2016 season after parting company with G-Drive Racing in FIA World Endurance Championship prior to the 24 Hours of Le Mans is looking forward to working with Barthez and Buret.
“I know we will have to work hard to rise up to this challenge and more particularly with the new Ligier JS P217 we have to learn to tame,” said Berthon. “Last season, Timothé Buret showed great skills with a will to improve and a great mentality. This good atmosphere within the team and the cohesion between team mates is essential and we are going to make every possible effort to fight amongst the front-runners with a meticulous technical team.”
In the #16 Ligier JS P3 Eric Debard and Simon Gachet will be joined by Theo Bean. US-born Bean began his racing career in 2016 and last seasn competed in the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand with ETEC Racing and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with Rebel Rock Racing.
Commenting on his first season competing in the European Le Series, Bean said: “It is obviously a dream for me to drive in Europe. I have loved driving the Ligier JS P3. Everything is new but I feel confident in tis team. I am looking forward to competing in the European Le Mans Series.”
The 2017 European Le Mans Series season opens at Silverstone on April 15.