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Belloc Confirmed at Larbre as Ruberti Replacement

Jean-Philippe Belloc replaces injured Paolo Ruberti at Larbre…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Jean-Philippe Belloc will take the third seat in Larbre Competition’s No. 50 Corvette C7.R at this year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, after Paolo Ruberti was injured last week at Hockenheim.

Belloc and Nicky Catsburg were drafted in as last-minute replacements for Ruberti at the Test Day last Sunday, to drive alongside full-season FIA World Endurance Championship drivers Pierre Ragues and Yutaka Yamagishi.

However, Catsburg confirmed to Sportscar365 that he would not be racing with the team due to budget issues.

Instead, the French team announced on Thursday that Belloc would fill the seat in the Larbre Corvette, one of two C7.Rs in the GTE-Am field.

“I am delighted to have been chosen by Jack Leconte to replace Paolo Ruberti, to whom everybody sends their best wishes, for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Belloc.

“It’s a very nice show of trust and a great privilege to defend the colors of Larbre Competition in the world’s greatest endurance race. The GTE-Am category is quite competitive this year but I think we have a very solid package.”

“When the going gets tough, it’s essential to have solid footing and clear points of reference, and Jean-Philippe Belloc is definitely someone Larbre Competition can rely on,” added team manager Jack Leconte.

“I’d also like to thank Nick Catsburg for his valuable help and excellent work during last weekend’s Le Mans Test Day.

“With Paolo out of action for a long time, we’re clearly keeping an eye on him for the remainder of the FIA World Endurance Championship season.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. JorritVD

    June 9, 2016 at 11:31 am

    dissapointed. Should have been Catsburg in that seat. Don’t understand why Corvette not took some action and gave some budget. Maybe Catsburg has less 24h of LM experience, but has a lot other endurance experience, including last years 24h of Spa win and has the speed.

  2. David Chaste

    June 9, 2016 at 11:58 am

    I think the team is essentially getting a deal on the car and spares, so Corvette feel they’re already giving enough support. Besides they don’t want a driver who might pass one of their cars in the race.

    But Belloc is no slouch either and He knows Lemans very well and was in the GT1 Oreca Saleen in 2007 as well.

    • colquhoun

      June 9, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Seeing as they are in different classes I don’t think that will be an issue. Especially since this year the Am cars are not the same spec as the Pro GTs.

    • DS

      June 9, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      actually corvette were the people behind catsburg getting in the car in the first place. they want him in the seat, no question. they wont care if he passes their pro cars, they welcome that. Ruberti could have done that too.

      the issue was money. ruberti has backing from Gianluca roda, and belloc has backing from Christophe Bourret. catsburg doesnt have any funding.

  3. David Chaste

    June 9, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Am cars have been finishing aheaf of Pro cars that had trouble. Different spec or not, they have similar levels of power. Last year the GT am winner beat all the pro cars except the winner (Corvette). The Am cars are not pushed as hard so they stay more reliable over the 24hrs.

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