Stoffel Vandoorne has joined the mission MissionH24 project as an additional driver in the development duties of the hydrogen-powered prototype.
The ex-Formula 1 driver, who is set to make his full-season FIA World Endurance Championship debut with JOTA Sport this year, joins fellow open-wheel star Norman Nato on the H24Racing squad.
Neither driver, however, will be part of the team’s planned race program in this year’s Michelin Le Mans Cup, with two additional pilots still to be named.
Both Vandoorne and Nato will also be competing in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship this year.
“Stoffel Vandoorne and Norman Nato are just the duo we need to speed up the performance development of our two electric-hydrogen-powered prototypes,” said team principal Jean-Michel Bouresche.
“They’re among the quickest circuit racing drivers in the world. They’re also two guys who like working as a team with the technicians. So we know that with them we’ll always be at the limits of what the car can give.
“A racing prototype, a team, a program can only make progress when the bar is being continually raised by the best people from the beginning to the end of the chain. The final links of this chain are the drivers.
“Stoffel and Norman bring us their know-how in the field of performance and their experience of the new generation Formula E racing cars, in particular.
“I’m very happy that in addition to their already very full sporting programs they have both accepted to be our two benchmark drivers.”
The GreenGT-designed prototype is now in its second generation following an unveil of a lighter version of the H24 last September.
“I’ve got several reasons to be enthusiastic; first of all to be taking part in this innovative program that is building one of the futures of motorsport, which is a great opportunity for any driver that’s passionate about innovations like I am,” Vandoorne said.
“And then to know that I’m going to be working with my friend Norman Nato is a great pleasure. We’ve always been friends off the track; we’ve been rivals but never team-mates. And finally here we are together as teammates on the same project on which he’s been working for two years: namely, to make electric-hydrogen power competitive in endurance.
“It’s just the kind of sporting and technological challenge I love. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the new H24 prototype!”