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Inter Europol Confirms IMSA Debut at Petit Le Mans

Polish LMP2 outfit to make IMSA debut and run Oreca for the first time at Petit Le Mans…

Photo: MPS Agency

Polish LMP2 squad Inter Europol Competition has confirmed that it will make its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut in this month’s Motul Petit Le Mans.

The European Le Mans Series outfit is set to field a single Oreca 07 Gibson in the 10-hour race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 17.

Reigning IMSA Prototype Challenge champion Austin McCusker will share the wheel with Michelin Le Mans Cup driver Rob Hodes and Inter Europol regular Jakub Smiechowski.

Inter Europol normally runs Ligier machinery at LMP2 and LMP3 level while its upcoming North American debut at Petit Le Mans will mark its first time operating an Oreca. 

The team made its LMP2 debut last year in a program that included its first outing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Ligier.

It then returned to Le Mans for last month’s 2020 edition of the race with Smiechowski joined by sometime IndyCar driver Rene Binder and ex-LMP1 racer Matevos Isaakyan.

Inter Europol has continued to run LMP3 cars in the ELMS and the Asian Le Mans Series since its expansion to LMP2 and won the 2018-19 class title in the latter championship.

“We have been looking at a couple of things over the last months,” said team principal Sascha Fassbender.

“One was expanding our business. And now that LMP3 is admitted in the IMSA championship we want to have a look at what that might mean for us.

“We are fully aware that in these difficult times with restricted traveling that going to the US should not make much sense.

“But we cannot stop because of COVID-19, we have to push forward. Then came the opportunity to do this, so we did. We have tested with an Oreca before, but never raced in one.”

American racer McCusker was originally set to drive for Inter Europol in the ELMS this year, but his planned LMP3 campaign fell through due to pandemic-related travel issues.

The 22-year-old has made one appearance with the team this year in Asian LMS, at the 4 Hours of The Bend in January.

“It’s great to be back with Inter Europol Competition,” said McCusker, who is now set for his LMP2 debut after winning last year’s IMPC title in a Norma M30 Nissan.

“I’m looking forward to getting into an LMP2 car for the first time. It will be a big step for never running the car before at Petit and being out of the seat for around eight months.

“But I am confident with the team and everyone surrounding us that I will be able to adapt quickly and we can push for some strong results.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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