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Vandoorne joins Meyer Shank line-up for Sebring 12 Hours

The Rolex 24 Hours-winning team Meyer Shank Racing has announced that former Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne will join the team for next month’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

The second round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is being held on the same weekend as IndyCar’s second round at Texas Motor Speedway. While it was hoped that some IndyCar drivers would “do the double”, and be third drivers for the classic IMSA enduro, in fact none will do so.

IndyCar’s qualifying session for Texas is being held on Saturday, March 19, the same day as the 12 Hours, so any driver who missed the session would be obliged to start Sunday’s race from the back.

Hence Meyer Shank had to find an alternative to its originally appointed IMSA enduro extra Helio Castroneves to race the #60 MSR Acura ARX-05 alongside fulltime drivers Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis. That opportunity has gone the way of Vandoorne, for whom this will be a first start in IMSA.

Vandoorne, who finished runner-up in the WEC’s LMP2 championship last year alongside Blomqvist at JOTA, said he was “really excited” to make his IMSA debut “because the racing in America is very close.”

He went on: “I feel lucky to also be joining the team that just won the Daytona 24 Hours, so it’s going to be a really great experience. I know my teammate Tom already from last year racing in WEC and Olly I know him as well from endurance racing, but it will be the first time teaming up with them together.

“I’m really looking forward to the weekend and hopefully we can bring home a good result for the team.”

Team co-owner Mike Shank commented: “Stoffel impressed us at a test last week and will be a great addition to the team for Sebring. It was our initial intention to have Helio race in both the IMSA and IndyCar events that weekend, but logistically it became a bit difficult.

“Tom has said great things about Stoffel from their time racing in WEC together last year, so I think we have another strong lineup heading into the race weekend.”

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