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Algarve Pro to Field Independent Sebring Entry With Thomas

Algarve Pro to contest Sebring with IMSA LMP2 runner-up Steven Thomas stepping in…

Photo: IMSA

Algarve Pro Racing has linked up with IMSA driver Steven Thomas to enter the 1000 Miles of Sebring as an independent outfit after the team’s original partner G-Drive Racing withdrew from the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Portuguese squad Algarve Pro is shown on an updated entry list for the WEC season-opener taking place next weekend after putting together a late deal with last year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship LMP2 runner-up Thomas.

The American Bronze-rated driver will share the No. 45 Oreca 07 Gibson with James Allen and Rene Binder, who were originally due to share a G-Drive Racing Oreca with ex-Formula 1 racer Daniil Kvyat.

Russian outfit G-Drive, which was due to utilize an APR crew for its program, recently announced its withdrawal from the WEC season in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Under its G-Drive effort, Algarve Pro was set to compete for overall LMP2 class honors but Thomas’ inclusion in the lineup means the team is now in the Pro-Am bracket.

According to a communication from the WEC, the Algarve Pro entry is taking part on a “race-by-race basis throughout 2022”.

Another notable change on the Sebring entry list is the reduction of the grid size to 36 cars following the withdrawal of GR Racing’s Porsche 911 RSR-19.

Team owner and driver Mike Wainwright is skipping Sebring to remain in Europe where he will focus on business commitments brought on by the war in Ukraine, but his team is planning to return at the 6 Hours of Spa. 

Other updates include the confirmation of some more drivers, including 2018-19 GTE-Am champion Patrick Lindsey and Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS competitor Fred Poordad in the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche.

Matteo Cairoli and Mikkel Pedersen, who drove Dinamic Motorsport Porsches in GTWC Europe last year, are in the No. 46 Team Project 1 Porsche while there is a TBA slot in the NorthWest AMR Aston Martin entry where David Pittard’s name was on the provisional entry list.

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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