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ELMS Champions Kubica, Deletraz Join Prema

Prema announces driver lineups for WEC debut with Kubica, Deletraz joining from WRT…

Photo: MPS Agency

Reigning European Le Mans Series champions Robert Kubica and Louis Deletraz will drive for Prema Powerteam in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year.

The former WRT duo are set to team up with FIA Formula 3 race winner Lorenzo Colombo in the Prema and Iron Lynx-run No. 9 Oreca 07 Gibson.

Both Kubica and Deletraz are set for their maiden full-season campaigns in the WEC.

Kubica drove for High Class Racing in the recent Bahrain double-header and for WRT at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while Deletraz has previously made one-off appearances with Rebellion Racing, WRT and Inter Europol Competition.

Silver-rated driver Colombo is making his series debut outright after finishing 15th in last season’s FIA Formula 3 standings with Campos Racing.

Successful open-wheel outfit Prema, which sealed the FIA Formula 2 teams’ title last year with Robert Shwartzman and Oscar Piastri, is entering the sports car arena for the first time in partnership with the Iron Lynx squad.

“Starting such an outstanding new endeavor with so much potential available does not happen often, and I have to say that the prospect of racing in the World Endurance Championship and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is incredibly exciting,” said team principal Rene Rosin.

“I am proud of the amount of work the team got done in the time available, and I am extremely confident that our driver line-up will rise to the occasion.

“It is amazing to have Robert joining Prema Orlen Team, and with Louis, we have probably one of the strongest pairings available.

“In addition, we look forward to working with Lorenzo. We know him from single-seaters as one of the most interesting prospects around, and I am sure that he will climb his rookie learning curve very, very quickly.”

Kubica and Deletraz secured the ELMS title last season alongside Yifei Ye, with the trio taking three victories from six races in a strong campaign for Team WRT.

Kubica’s signing with Prema marks a return to the team with which the Polish driver contested the 2003 Formula 3 Euro Series on his way up the Formula 1 ladder.

“I know the Rosin family and a few key people from then, and although a lot of time has passed, we all know from single-seaters that the team is extremely competitive,” he said.

“It is a new challenge for the team and for me as well since I only raced in three FIA WEC events last year, Le Mans and the two Bahrain events.

“I’m happy to work with Louis, who I know from last year’s ELMS and Le Mans, and Lorenzo.

“I’m looking forward to this challenge which will require a lot of work and dedication. Hopefully we will be able to start the season strong, without major issues. We have a lot to focus on in front of us and I can’t wait for the season to start.”

In addition to the announcement of the Prema LMP2 crew, Iron Lynx has outlined its WEC program in the GTE-Am class with a pair of Ferrari 488 GTE Evos.

One of those Ferraris will be entered under the Iron Dames banner, with Rahel Frey named as the first member of the No. 85 driving crew.

Bronze-rated driver Claudio Schiavoni will return to the wheel of the No. 60 Iron Lynx car.

“We’re thrilled to announce our return to FIA WEC this season to compete in the GTE Am category and support Prema Orlen Team with their first venture in Endurance racing in LMP2,” said Iron Lynx team principal Andrea Piccini.

“Both teams have put in a tremendous amount of hard work over the winter months and we’re confident that our passionate teams and talented drivers can lead us in the fight for victory in 2022.”

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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