Inter Europol Competition has signed former SMP Racing LMP1 driver Matevos Isaakyan to its LMP2 lineup for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and European Le Mans Series.
The 22-year-old Russian is set to share the Polish team’s Ligier JS P217 Gibson with Asian Le Mans LMP3 champion Jakub Smiechowski and ex-IndyCar racer Rene Binder.
Isaakyan burst onto the sports car scene in 2017, winning the ELMS 4 Hours of Le Castellet in an SMP-run Dallara, before moving up to the Russian outfit’s LMP1 program for the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship with the BR Engineering BR1 AER.
His stint in the WEC got off to a difficult start when he was involved in a dramatic airborne accident at Spa, while his other appearances resulted in retirements.
Isaakyan didn’t race in sports cars last year, but he did make a handful of outings at the end of the FIA Formula 2 season with Sauber Junior Team by Charouz.
His 2020 deal with Inter Europol marks his return to the ELMS and also presents his second time racing at Le Mans, following on from his debut with SMP in 2018.
“I’m very excited to join No. 34 crew of Inter Europol Competition team for the 2020 ELMS season and 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Isaakyan.
“I’m looking forward to be driving with, instead of against, my old competitors from the World Series, Rene and Kuba. I think we have a very strong crew and can’t wait to prove it on track.”
Inter Europol team principal Sascha Fassbender added: “We are all looking forward to the season to start after this long and difficult break and are happy to have these three strong drivers together in one car.
“They have known each other a long time and can build on each other’s strong points. It will be an interesting season.”
Inter Europol has two Ligiers signed up for the full ELMS campaign, with Alexander Müller’s co-drivers in the No. 33 car still to be determined.
The ELMS is set to open its five-round 2020 season at Paul Ricard next month.