G-Drive Racing is set to expand its FIA World Endurance Championship presence next season, with outings possible in as many as four races for the Russian squad.
Roman Rusinov, who brings G-Drive backing to the effort, has revealed plans to compete in next season’s WEC rounds at Bahrain and Sao Paulo, as well as his usual entries at Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The team’s Aurus 01 Gibson, a rebadged Oreca LMP2 chassis, will continue to be run by French outfit TDS Racing, with the remainder of the European Le Mans Series yet to run.
“We would like to do at the end of the season, Bahrain,” Rusinov told Sportscar365.
“It’s on our plan. It’s not 100 percent confirmed but it’s planning now. Next year, maybe Brazil, so we will see. Spa, definitely to prepare for Le Mans, yes.”
During the 2018-19 ‘Super Season’, G-Drive has entered both editions of the Six Hours of Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but no other mid-season races.
It’s currently running Job van Uitert and Jean-Eric Vergne in its Aurus for the European Le Mans Series season and 2019 editions of Le Mans and Spa.
TDS team principal Xavier Combet stated that nothing has been finalized yet regarding a G-Drive entry in December’s Eight Hours of Bahrain and February’s Six Hours of Sao Paolo.
“This is something we speak about, but nothing is confirmed at the moment,” he told Sportscar365.
Sportscar365 understands that some additional LMP2 entries have been allowed past the May 21 deadline, but Combet says his team isn’t set to run a second car full-season.
TDS is expected to only campaign one car next season, running the Racing Team Nederland Oreca 07 Gibson, with current customer Francois Perrodo moving down to GTE-Am. The entry list will be revealed on Friday.
“We try, of course to have a second car in the WEC but unfortunately we have not had the chance to sign a car for the full season,” said Combet.
“If we can enter a car on some race-by-race entries, we will do it, for sure.”
Rusinov Not Giving Up on DPi Ambitions
Rusinov has reaffirmed his support for IMSA’s DPi platform, suggesting G-Drive or Aurus may be interested in such a category if the ACO allows DPis in the next-gen top class regulations, which are set to be confirmed on Friday.
Russian limousine builder Aurus wouldn’t be accepted under current DPi regulations in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which requires large-scale brands that sell cars in the U.S.
“I think we need to see the regulations first, but what I love is DPi and Formula E,” said Rusinov. “It’s very strict with the regulations, on how the car should be, and it attracts a lot of manufacturers.
“Let’s see what the regulations will be. I love the LMP2 class because you have a lot of cars and great competition, exactly what motorsports should look like.
“I like the DPi regulations, definitely. If you take the Acura, it’s an Oreca, and you have a Dallara in the [Cadillac], I think it’s quite good, because it’s still very restricted.”
Aurus, which provides the Russian presidential limousine and entered motorsports this year with the G-Drive tie-up, has ambitions of becoming a larger international business.
“If you take Aurus, it is existing only for a few years,” said Rusinov. “Aurus is planning to do the 4-wheel-drive, they already have the coupe, cabriolet, they have the limousines, they have a big range.
“We have to show that the relationship of Aurus and G-Drive is very good so then we can speak about the future.
“If you want to build something big, you need to start with something. It’s a great start and Aurus from the second race won already.”