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European Le Mans Series

Panis-Barthez Signs Berthon for ELMS Program

Panis-Barthez Competition signs Berthon in two-car ELMS lineup…

Photo: Panis-Barthez Competition

Photo: Panis-Barthez Competition

Nathanael Berthon will join Panis-Barthez Competition for the European Le Mans Series this season, the French team confirmed on Monday.

He joins Fabien Barthez and Timothe Buret in the team’s new Ligier JS P217 Gibson entered in the top class of the ELMS.

Having been dropped from G-Drive Racing’s FIA World Endurance Championship lineup ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans last season, Berthon later joined Greaves Motorsport to complete the ELMS season.

With the British team sitting out from competition this year, the 27-year-old makes the switch to Panis-Barthez.

He replaces Paul-Loup Chatin in the LMP2 entry. No word has yet been made on Chatin’s drive this season.

“I am delighted to be able to join the Panis-Barthez Competition family and I thank Olivier Panis and the staff for their trust,” said Berthon.

“I will give everything to share my endurance experience knowing that we will have to work hard to meet this challenge and especially with this new Ligier JS P217 that we must learn to tame.”

Eric Debard, Simon Gachet and Theo Bean meanwhile will share the LMP3-entered Ligier JS P3 Nissan.

Bean, who joins the team in place of Valentin Moineault, participated in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with Rebel Rock Racing last season.

“It’s a dream come true to run in Europe!” Bean said. “During the tests, I was able to feel all the passion there is inside this [team].

“I loved discovering the Ligier JS P3, it is powerful with a lot of aerodynamic support. Being able to race on these famous circuits is something incredible for [someone like me] who only knows them through video games.

“Everything will be new, but I feel confident in the team, and I look forward to [racing in] my first European Le Mans Series season.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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