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European Le Mans Series

Virage Finalizes Lineup for LMP2 Debut with Jaafar, Aubry

LMP2 newcomer Team Virage announces full driver lineup for ELMS campaign in Pro-Am…

Photo: Team Virage

Team Virage has finalized its first LMP2 driver lineup for the European Le Mans Series by bringing on board Jazeman Jaafar and Gabriel Aubry.

Jaafar and Aubry will team up with Rob Hodes, who was named as a driver of the No. 51 Oreca 07 Gibson on the provisional full-season ELMS entry list after representing Virage in last year’s Michelin Le Mans Cup.

Hodes’ FIA Bronze driver status means that he and his professional co-drivers will compete under the LMP2 Pro-Am classification.

Aubry is set to continue in prototype racing this year after recently signing with AF Corse to make his GTE debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Jaafar, meanwhile, is poised for his first full-time campaign in LMP2 since the 2018-19 WEC season with the JOTA-backed Jackie Chan DC Racing operation.

The Malaysian driver also worked with JOTA’s WEC team in an off-track role last year but got to drive for the team when it made an ELMS cameo at the 4 Hours of Monza.

JOTA will provide technical support to Team Virage as the organization led by Philippe Gautheron and Julien Gerbi makes its first step above LMP3 competition.

“Our intention when we started Team Virage a few years ago was to reach the highest level of endurance racing,” said Gautheron.

“Joining the LMP2 field this season is a first achievement following several years of intense work. We are excited both with our line-up and our technical partnership with JOTA and are looking forward to a great 2022 campaign.”

Aubry and Jaafar previously formed part of the same Jackie Chan DC Racing team in 2018-19, with Jaafar in an all-Malaysian crew and Aubry teaming up with Ho-Pin Tung and Stephane Richelmi.

“The ELMS proves to be one of the most competitive fields in Europe and our lineup of Rob, Gaby and I shows that we are serious in fighting for strong results,” said Jaafar.

“Team Virage has worked very hard and our preparation so far has proven we have the capability in doing so. I look forward [to] the season ahead kicking off [at] Paul Ricard with my teammates and the team to start off a strong year ahead.”

Aubry added: “I’m extremely happy to join Virage in their first step in LMP2 this season.

“I strongly believe in the package they [have] built, either on the technical or on the human side.

“Everyone knows each other and have worked separately in the past five years, [so] it feels like a big reunion! I’m thankful for the team to believe in me as a Pro driver and allowing me to work in this project.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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