Ben Hanley will join DragonSpeed for the upcoming European Le Mans Series season, completing the lineup of the team’s Oreca 05 Nissan in the LMP2 class.
The 31 year-old Englishman will be paired with Nicolas Lapierre and Henrik Hedman, and fills the Silver driver rating slot.
“It’s a real pleasure to welcome Ben to the team,” said team principal Elton Julian. “His talent and determination have shown throughout the ups and downs of his career, and he’s super motivated to make his comeback in sports cars.
“We see Ben as the strong Silver-level driver we need to round out our ELMS squad, and look forward to working with him.”
After graduating in 2005 to various open-wheel series including Formula Renault and GP2, Hanley ultimately returned to karting in 2008, and has won an array of events at both European and World Championship level since.
In addition, short-term returns to single seaters in 2009 and 2010 brought about wins in both the Euroseries 3000 and Superleague Formula series.
He remained in karting through the 2015 season, and will make his sports car debut this year with the Florida-based DragonSpeed squad.
“I’m delighted to join DragonSpeed for the ELMS in 2016,” he said. “This will be my first season in cars since 2010 and first in sports cars, so I need to get back into the swing and learn a new discipline at the same time.
“Even so, I aim to be up to speed quickly and contributing to achieving the team’s goals. Elton has put together a terrific team and I can’t thank him and Henrik enough for this great opportunity.
“I look forward to visiting Sebring [for this week’s IMSA test] and getting to know the team better before I get behind the wheel of the Oreca in Europe.”
Nic Minassian will complete the team’s lineup for next month’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, joining Hedman and Lapierre for the team’s LMP2 debut.