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European Le Mans Series

Varrone Joins AF Corse for Paul Ricard

Factory Corvette driver Nico Varrone gets another outing in Ferrari GT3 machinery in 4 Hours of Le Castellet…

Photo: MPS Agency

Nico Varrone has joined the lineup of the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3 for this weekend’s Paul Ricard round of the European Le Mans Series.

The Argentinian racer will partner Charles-Henri Samani and Emmanuel Collard for the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, effectively replacing Ulysse de Pauw.

Varrone is no stranger to the ELMS, having contested a full season for another Ferrari squad in the form of Rinaldi Racing in 2022, and has already sampled the 296 GT3 for AF Corse in last year’s CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.

Varrone being called up to race at Paul Ricard follows the premature end of his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program with AWA, which has scaled back to one car in the wake of Anthony Mantella’s sudden exit from the team.

His only other confirmed commitments this year are in the Nürburgring 24 with Frikadelli Racing and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with AF Corse’s LMP2 team.

When asked for comment regarding Varrone’s Corvette commitments following the end of his WeatherTech Championship program, a GM spokesperson replied: “Nico is very much still part of Corvette; no change to his factory status.”

The only other change on the Paul Ricard entry list from the Barcelona season opener concerns the Ultimate LMP3 team, as Eric Trouillet replaces Alexandre Yvon at the wheel of the No. 35 Ligier JS P320 Nissan.

A total of 43 cars are entered for the 4H Le Castellet, with 22 LMP2 cars (of which eight are Pro/Am) joined by 10 LMP3s and 11 LMGT3s.

This article was updated Tuesday at 2 p.m. CEST (8 a.m. EDT) to include comments issued by Corvette Racing.

Jamie Klein is Sportscar365's Asian editor. Japan-based Klein, who previously worked for Motorsport Network on the Motorsport.cоm and Autosport titles, covers the FIA World Endurance Championship and SUPER GT, among other series.

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