Japanese team makes international return along with Swiss ELMS squad.
Benoit Morand’s sportscar team is to join the LMP2 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship in conjunction with the Japanese SARD RACING TEAM, which makes its first international foray since 1997.
SARD (Sigma Advanced Research and Development) was runner-up overall in the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours with a Toyota 94 CV prototype driven by Jeff Krosnoff, Eddie Irvine and Mauro Martini, and has long been associated with the Japanese marque.
Morand’s Judd-powered Morgan claimed one ELMS overall victory, and has been a strong force in the series as well as registering two Le Mans 24 Hours finishes.
The newly-renamed TEAM SARD-MORAND will run a pair of Morgan EVO SARDs (rebadged Judd engines) in the full WEC.
Drivers will be Morand’s usual lead pilot ex-F1 racer Christian Klien and SARD Super GT regular Koki Saga in the first car. Britain’s Oliver Webb, who claimed the 2014 title with Signatech Alpine, joins Pierre Ragues in the other.
“For a young team like us, it is an honour to share our destiny with SARD RACING TEAM," said Morand. "SARD’s long history demonstrates that this team has always been searching for new challenges while combining a professional spirit with a family environment.”
SARD boss Katsuyuki Sato added: “Benoit Morand has the spirit to win and the knowledge needed to be a strong team which seems a usual things for a team manager but it is not occasional case in today’s motor sport. We would also like to demonstrate our new technology in FIA WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”