Algarve Pro Racing will contest the 2021 European Le Mans Series with a new driver lineup for its No. 24 Oreca 07 Gibson including Ferdinand Habsburg and Richard Bradley.
Asian Le Mans Series champion Habsburg and 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner Bradley will team up with LMP2 rookie Diego Menchaca for the six-round campaign.
This will be a new trio for the Algarve Pro squad, which ran two Orecas under its own name last year with the likes of Loic Duval, Jon Lancaster and Gabriel Aubry in the crew.
Despite being a new addition to the Algarve Pro entry, Habsburg is no stranger to the Portugal-based team having won the Asian LMS last month driving for its G-Drive Racing partner outfit.
The Austrian former DTM competitor will combine his ELMS debut with a full-time role in the FIA World Endurance Championship driving for Team WRT.
Bradley joins Algarve Pro from IDEC Sport and is set to represent a third different LMP2 team in as many seasons, having previously raced for Duqueine Engineering in 2019.
Menchaca, meanwhile, is the designated Silver-rated driver in the No. 24 lineup. The 26-year-old Mexican competed in the 2018 GP3 Series before switching to sports cars the following year which saw him join Lamborghini GT3 squad FFF Racing Team.
“I am very happy and thankful to be joining the European Le Mans Series with Algarve Pro Racing,” said Menchaca. “It’s quite surprising as it seemed certain that I’d continue on my path in GT3 championships, but I couldn’t let this opportunity go.”
First of Two G-Drive Lineups Determined
In addition to filing a single entry under its own name, Algarve Pro is also in charge of running the two G-Drive Racing entries in ELMS this year.
NTT IndyCar Series driver and Haas Formula 1 reserve Pietro Fittipaldi headlines the No. 25 G-Drive lineup, which is registered for the new Pro-Am classification.
His teammates are Bronze-rated driver John Falb, who was with Algarve Pro in 2020, and Rui Andrade were named on the provisional entry list issued last month.
Fittipaldi is set for his maiden campaign in LMP2, which will run alongside an IndyCar oval program with the Dale Coyne Racing and Rick Ware Racing partnership.
“It’ll be my first proper LMP2 campaign and I’m really looking forward to it, especially as my family has such a strong track record in endurance sports car racing; my cousin Christian [Fittipaldi] is a three-time winner of the Daytona 24 Hours and my uncle Max [Papis] has two Daytona wins to his name, so they’ll certainly be able to give good advice,” said the 24-year-old.
“I have a lot of experience in open-wheelers but have also raced and tested closed cockpit race cars – I was the fastest rookie in an end-of-season test in Porsche’s 919 Hybrid.
“However, I always take things step-by-step because every car requires a different style and approach, and it can take time to adapt.”
Roman Rusinov’s co-drivers in the No. 26 G-Drive Aurus entry have yet to be announced.