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Stevens to Make LMP2 Return with Panis-Barthez

Will Stevens set for ELMS, 24H Le Mans with Panis-Barthez Competition squad…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Ex-Formula 1 driver Will Stevens has been confirmed at Panis-Barthez Competition for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the European Le Mans Series.

The 26-year-old Brit, who contested the 2015 Grand Prix season with Marussia, will co-drive the French outfit’s Ligier JS P217 Gibson with Timothe Buret and FIA World Endurance LMP2 champion Julien Canal.

The deal means Stevens will return to the LMP2 category having spent last year predominantly with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the Blancpain GT Series.

He made his sports car debut in 2016, driving Oreca 05 Nissans for Manor and G-Drive Racing in that year’s WEC season.

“After Formula 1, driving an endurance prototype was an exciting prospect,” said Stevens. “In 2016 I got to experience it, and finished second in class at my first Le Mans.

“Last year, I focused on GT racing which allowed me to become a more complete driver, but this year I am extremely happy to be back in LMP2.”

Panis-Barthez Competition is readying for its third season in the ELMS, although team co-founder Fabien Barthez will be absent from the lineup.

The former international goalkeeper cited “reasons that are not related to sport” for his absence from the cockpit, although he has been tipped to appear in another category at some point.

Buret is now the only driver to feature in each of Panis-Barthez Competition’s campaigns, while Canal is a new signing from Rebellion Racing, having been left out of the team’s LMP1 and LMP2 lineups for 2018.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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