Twenty-four drivers will have the chance to compete for a drive with Team SARD-Morand at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, via the Race to 24 online series.
The prize for winning the 12-part, interactive online reality show competition that launches March 26 is the third seat in one of Benoit Morand’s two Morgan EVO SARD LMP2 prototypes at Le Mans.
Further details about the competition elements and air dates may be released as early as this week. More information is available at www.raceto24.com.
Team SARD-Morand steps up from the European Le Mans Series into a full season of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2015, with Christian Klien and Kogi Saga (No. 39), Pierre Ragues and Oliver Webb (No. 43) as the team’s first four confirmed drivers.
Saga and Ragues are both Silver-rated to fulfill the LMP2 pro-am requirement.
Race to 24 revealed the drivers set to compete over the weekend, and the list includes some very interesting names.
Three Americans are named, in the form of open-wheel veterans Conor Daly, Brandon Newey and Jonathan Summerton.
Of the three of them, Summerton has already branched into sports car racing, having driven a partial schedule for BMW Team RLL in the 2012 American Le Mans Series season and co-driving the winning BMW M3 at the 2012 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime to compete in the Race to 24 and represent the USA,” Summerton told Sportscar365. “It’s an honor to be selected out of so many talented drivers from around the world to compete for a seat in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Getting the opportunity to race there would be a bucket list item.”
Besides the three U.S. drivers, Stefan Rzadzinski flies the flag for Canada as the fourth North American driver up for the opportunity.
“This is definitely the most exciting opportunity I’ve had in my racing career thus far, so I’m stoked for the Race To 24 competition to begin,” Rzadzinski told Sportscar365. “I’m honored to be selected as one of the finalists with a chance to compete at Le Mans with Team SARD-Morand, and I can’t wait to make the most of it.”
There are some famous last names in the field of 24. Sam Brabham, David’s son and Matthew’s cousin, has been named as one of three drivers from the United Kingdom, along with GP3 veterans Dino Zamparelli and Melville McKee.
Austria’s Laura Kraihamer, sister of Rebellion Racing 2014 driver Dominik, is one of three females named, alongside another GP3 veteran in Italian Vicky Piria, and French driver Ines Taittinger.
Jules Gounon, son of ex-Formula 1 and sports car driver Jean-Marc, is the other French driver named.
Argentine open-wheel veteran Esteban Guerrieri, who raced two seasons of Indy Lights, is among the drivers listed.
Christopher Haase has made the list; the Paul Miller Racing Audi ace is one of two German drivers identified, along with Marvin Dienst.
Brazil has two drivers named in Gustavo Lima and Lukas Moraes.
The competition also features drivers from Australia (Mitchell Gilbert), Bahrain (Raed Raffii), China (Martin Cao), India (Advait Deodhar), Japan (Shinya Michimi), Portugal (Armando Parente), Russia (Max Snegirev) and Switzerland (Fabio Thuner) to create a diverse field of candidates for the ride.