As the European Le Mans Series competitors prepare to meet for the first day of the Official Test at the Paul Ricard Circuit, Team Endurance Challenge has finalised their driver line-ups for the 2013 season.
After Alex Loan and Matthieu Lecuyer as well as Soheil Ayari and Anthony Pons, the youngsters Paul Loup Chatin and Gary Hirsch join the French team that will compete in the LMPC class with three ORECA-FLM 09 cars.
A young and ambitious duo!
This Swiss-French pair will be represent youth : 21 years of age for Paul Loup Chatin and 25 years for Gary Hirsch, who will both be making their endurance debut.
"I am excited to start the season with a program that fits perfectly with my role as reserve driver at Signatech-Alpine," admitted the young Frenchman, member of the French national Circuits team in 2012.
" I will be able to prepare for my objective, which is to start driving with that team starting next year. To be joining Team Endurance Challenge is an opportunity to progress in a professional atmosphere and to discover endurance racing.
I’ll be learning, but I want to aim for the win as early as my first race. I think that with Gary, we have the chance to fight at the top.
I want to show that I’m able to be quick without making errors, all while gaining experience in a new discipline for me. And the presence of experienced driver, such as Nicolas Minassian, the team’s mentor, will be a positive advantage."
Born in Geneva, Gary Hirsch has lived a bold rise. After competing in Formula Ford 1600 BRDC (2 wins), several races in Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Asia, he showed a his potential in 2010 in the Ferrari Corse Clienti events, including with a Ferrari 599XX. In 2011, he also raced in the FIA GT3 European Championship.
"I’m really happy to be putting a foot into endurance racing, particularly with an organization such as ORECA, well-known for his know-how since many years," he explains.
"I’m hoping to be part of it for a long time. I will have a race after race approach, showing my pace and my consistency. I am also convinced that the tandem we form with Paul Loup will allow us to chase first step of the podium.
My goal is to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2014 and I hope it will be with a team managed by ORECA. The environment provided by the team is completely suitable for learning a new discipline, which is an excellent news."
Although two ORECA-FLM09 will be present at the European Le Mans Series Official Tests, Team Endurance Challenge will enter three cars beginning with the first round at Silverstone in the LMPC class.