Three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans competitor and World Cup-winning goalkeeper Fabien Barthez has announced that he will no longer be involved with the Panis-Barthez Competition LMP2 team.
Barthez, who co-founded the outfit with ex-Formula 1 driver Olivier Panis in 2016, issued a statement confirming the news on Monday.
With technical support from Tech1 Racing, the team has contested the last four European Le Mans Series seasons and has entered Le Mans on four occasions.
It ran Barthez as a driver in both competitions 2016 and 2017 while the 48-year-old Frenchman also contested this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa in a Lexus RC F GT3 prepared by Tech1.
“After four years of collaboration with Olivier Panis and Tech1 Racing, I decided to withdraw my name and my image from the team previously called Panis-Barthez Competition,” said Barthez.
“I thank all the teams with whom I was able to share these four seasons, as well as the Total Group and its director of sponsoring and competition, Pierre-Gautier Caloni.
“I also thank the ACO for allowing me, thanks to its invitation, to participate twice in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
Barthez’s withdrawal from the program means the team is set to operate under a new name in 2020, should it confirm a return to the ELMS LMP2 ranks.
Panis-Barthez purchased an Oreca 07 Gibson midway through the 2019 campaign to replace one of its Ligier JS P217 Gibsons for the final three rounds.
In September, team co-principal Simon Abadie told Sportscar365 that the team has ambitions to return either with the Oreca or the Ligier package.