The identity of Ricardo Gonzalez’s new LMP2 team has been revealed, with RGR by Morand confirming plans to enter the FIA World Endurance Championship with a star-studded driver lineup.
As first revealed by Sportscar365, Gonzalez will be joined behind the wheel of his team’s Ligier JS P2 Nissan by Bruno Senna and Audi factory driver Filipe Albuquerque, creating one of the strongest lineups in the class.
While being supported by Morand Racing, RGR Sport will become the first Mexican team to compete in the WEC, which coincides in the debut year of the new round in Mexico City.
“I’m very excited to finally be able to announce this project, which has been in the works for quite a while,” Gonzalez said.
“After the WEC announced that we would have the 6 Hours of Mexico in 2016, starting our own Mexican team was the obvious next choice.
“I want to thank Benoit Morand and Onroak Automotive for making this opportunity possible. I really do believe that we’ve put together a dream team.
“With the experience that Bruno and Filipe have, and proven speed of the Ligier JS P2, I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll be able to fight for the championship and victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
Albuquerque, who has taken part in the past two European Le Mans Series seasons with Jota Sport, switches to the WEC full-time, largely possible due to Audi’s decision not to field a third R18 e-tron quattro at Le Mans this year.
“After doing two consecutive years in the ELMS, definitely the WEC was my main goal for 2016,” Albuquerque said.
“With Ricardo’s WEC experience, Bruno’s Formula 1 and my experience as an Audi factory driver I think we make a good and balanced team.”
Senna, who will supplement his Formula E duties with a season of WEC, added: “I’m very excited to come back to the WEC in the super-competitive LMP2 class.
“I’m sure we’ll challenge for wins with the Ligier-Nissan prepared by Morand and the first race can’t come soon enough.”
The effort will be managed by Benoit Morand, who fielded a Morgan-Judd in the WEC last year under the Team SARD-Morand banner.
“It’s a honor for Team Morand to be able to manage the RGR Sport by Morand team,” he said. “Not just as a business, but also because of the motorsports passion that everyone involved has shown.
“I have not known Ricardo for a long time, but from the beginning our relationship has always been simple and fair and I’m really looking forward to working with him this year.”