Larbre Competition will have a revised driver lineup for the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season, as the Jack Leconte-led team has been confirmed for another season with a single Corvette C7.R in the GTE-Am class.
Team owner Leconte is hoping it might be the team’s last season only in GTE-Am, as he has targeted a step up to GTE-Pro for 2017. Larbre was forced to rule out a GTE-Pro entry for this season.
“As well as playing the leading role in the GTE-Am class, our drivers and team personnel will also be laying the foundations for a 2017 GTE-Pro program,” he said.
“Even with limited funding for GTE Pro, we’re sure that the Corvette’s reliability would’ve allowed us to beat Ford’s armada as early as this year.
“The recent Daytona 24 Hours proved this with a superb 1-2 finish for Corvette. I’m convinced that it’s a missed opportunity, but hopefully it’s only a matter of time!”
As for the single GTE-Am entry, Paolo Ruberti returns in the No. 50 Corvette but will be joined by Silver-rated Pierre Ragues and Bronze-rated Yutaka Yamagishi for the full season.
Yamagishi was listed as the nominated driver for today’s release of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and WEC entry lists in Paris.
Ragues returns to the team, after also driving for them at Le Mans in 2014 in the team’s Morgan Nissan LMP2 car.
Gone are Ruberti’s longtime co-driver Gianluca Roda and also Kristian Poulsen, who drove the majority of last season. Nicolai Sylvest, an 18-year-old Dane, joined the team later in the season.
“On the drivers’ side, we’re delighted to welcome back Paolo Ruberti, who will continue to lead the crew,” Leconte said.
“We’re equally thrilled to welcome French driver Pierre Ragues, especially considering his previous experience with us at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours.
“Finally, Larbre’s international renown has allowed us to get in contact with Yutaka Yamagishi, who brings with him a wealth of experience in Japanese GT racing.”