Risi Competizione has reconfirmed plans to contest this year’s postponed 24 Hours of Le Mans, having named Jules Gounon alongside the previously confirmed Sebastien Bourdais and Olivier Pla in the team’s Ferrari GTE-Pro entry.
The Houston-based team, which featured Gounon last year, will run with an all-French driver lineup, as reported by Sportscar365 in February.
An announcement on Gounon’s confirmation and the team’s official participation was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic according to team principal Giuseppe Risi.
“The world got a little crazy in March so we just sat back and waited to see what would happen,” Risi said. “Le Mans is a very important race in the world and the biggest in sports car racing. Although some other teams have pulled out this year, we intend to race as planned.”
Risi is set to be the only American GTE-Pro entry in this year’s race following withdrawals from both Corvette Racing and the U.S.-based CORE autosport squad, which was to run two factory Porsche 911 RSRs.
Questions still surround the feasibility of Americans entering France in September, with the European Union’s borders currently closed due to health crisis.
The longtime Ferrari entrant has 16 previous entries at Le Mans, including three class victories and seven podiums.
“Our all-French driver line-up might be a little unexpected for my Risi team, but these are all talented drivers who have proven their worth at Le Mans and elsewhere in racing,” Risi said.
“Olivier Pla and Sebastien Bourdais drove against our team in the past few years and they both have strong history at Le Mans and a great knowledge of the circuit.
“Olivier is a strong and strategic driver. Le Mans is Sébastien’s hometown; he knows the track so well and has had success with past teams.
“Jules did a good job last year for us, so he was invited back to drive again alongside his fellow Frenchmen. Le Mans is always a very special race for our team and this year is no exception.”
The team, which contested January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, has yet to confirm any potential additional IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship outings this year, although the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March was planned prior to its postponement to November.