Nissan GT Academy winner Gaëtan Paletou will make his Le Mans race debut with Greaves Motorsport, replacing Bjorn Wirdheim at the wheel of the No. 41 Gibson 015S Nissan.
The French driver, who completed the mandatory 10 laps for new entrants at Le Mans last week, will join Gary Hirsch and Jon Lancaster for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
While Wirdheim has agreed to step down for the 24 Hours, the Swedish driver will remain part of the team’s European Le Mans Series lineup.
The decision to change the lineup was made at the request of Nissan, as confirmed by the Japanese manufacturer and Greaves Motorsport today.
“This is an exciting development for the team, it is part of our partnership with Nissan and demonstrates clearly the value of the GT Academy in promoting new talent in our sport,” team principal Tim Greaves said.
“Gaëtan is the latest in a long line of promising GT Academy graduates that have driven for the team. We would also like to thank Björn for his understanding of the longer term issues, he is very much still part of our plans in 2015.”
“This was completely unexpected and I honestly thought that Darren (Cox) was playing a trick on me, like on one of those TV shows,” said a surprised Paletou. “I dreamt of racing at Le Mans as a child but I didn’t expect to ever race there.”
“I love driving the LM P2 car and I really like the guys at Greaves so this is going to be a great experience for me. It is far too soon to talk about expectations, I just want to go there and do the best job I can.”
“For a Frenchman like Gaetan to make the transition from virtual-to-reality in less than a year and race at Le Mans is an incredible achievement,” added Nissan’s Darren Cox.
“He has handled everything we have thrown at him so far so we have absolute faith in his ability to do a good job at Le Mans.”