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European Le Mans Series

Algarve Pro Names Second LMP2 Driver Lineup

James French to make European racing debut in Algarve Pro Oreca with Enqvist, Kim…

Photo: MPS Agency

Algarve Pro Racing has announced a second LMP2 entry to the European Le Mans Series, with IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar class champion James French joining the Portugal-based team.

French, who clinched the Prototype Challenge class title in 2017, will co-drive an Oreca 07 Gibson with Henning Enqvist and Tacksung Kim. 

The 26-year-old from Wisconsin will make his European racing debut this year having competed exclusively in North America since the start of his career.

French is no stranger to the Oreca package, having driven the car in selected IMSA events last season with Performance Tech Motorsports.

“I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity and I’m very excited about the prospect of experiencing new tracks with a car that I’m pretty familiar with,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to working with my new teammates, as I think we have a strong line-up capable of achieving some good results.

“We will have a better idea of where we are after the first test. Firstly, we must make sure we finish all races with no big mistakes, contact or penalties, and then hopefully fight for top fives or even podiums at end of the season.”

Swedish racer Enqvist is stepping up to a full-time LMP2 role after making sporadic appearances in the class last season, while 44-year-old South Korean Kim is a returnee to the Algarve squad.

Enqvist ran a split ELMS program in separate classes in 2018, contesting four races in LMP3 with Inter Europol Competition and DKR Engineering, before going on to drive a Graff-run Oreca 07 in the final two races.

Algarve Pro is entering two Oreca 07s in the ELMS this year, with Andrea Pizzitola, Mark Patterson and John Falb already confirmed in the Portuguese squad’s other car.

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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