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D3+Transformers Targeting 24H Le Mans Entry

Dawson Racing planning 24H Le Mans effort with Ligier LMP2…

Image: D3+ Transformers

D3+Transformers Racing could take part in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, in addition to its full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship commitment, according to team principal Ian Dawson.

Dawson has revealed the Houston-based team will submit a LMP2 entry request for the French endurance classic, with what would be a second Ligier JS P217 Gibson chassis it plans to purchase.

“We’ve put in an entry to Le Mans and would like to think we can get there,” Dawson told Sportscar365.

“I’d love to go back again but I’ve said I’ll only go back again with something that’s done properly.”

Dawson Racing announced on Friday that it will run a Ligier in the WeatherTech Championship next year, with Robbie Kerr as its first confirmed driver in the new project, backed by the popular Hasbro franchise.

The Englishman is no stranger to Le Mans, having made multiple appearances with various projects, including entering the first-ever diesel-powered car in 2004, two years prior to Audi’s R10 TDI effort.

“I’ve kept a shop in the UK,” Dawson said. “Our shop in Houston is also well capable of handling things too.

“People that go to Le Mans lots of times, sometimes you have a good run and sometimes you don’t.

“I’ve been fortunate to have done well a few of times and have been in disaster other [times]. I’ve always been a bit of a risk-taker and a pioneer too.

“It still interests me. But you’ve got to realize your limitations today.

“And I think Onroak gives you the ability to be in that opportunity where you’re part of that system and not just a customer. I’m really happy.”

Dawson said they’re taking taking a realistic approach into the new program, which has been two years in the making with Hasbro. 

“We’re going into a tough world and really tough year,” he said. “We’ve got to be sensible on what we’re doing [and] learn again.”

LMP3 Program Possible for 2018

The team could expand its IMSA involvement with an entry in the Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda series, which Dawson said is also under consideration for next year.

It has already purchased a Ligier JS P3, which is on display as a show car this weekend at Road Atlanta.

“I like the fact that [Onroak Automotive] does LMP3 because we’ve got junior drivers that we can bring up through our Radical business,” Dawson said.

“With LMP3 growing in the U.S., now we’ve got a platform for that.”

The championship will expand from 45-minute sprint races into a new 1 hour and 45-minute two-driver endurance format, with the season kicking off at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 weekend in January.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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