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Panis-Barthez Revealed as New European Lexus Team

Tech 1, the team behind Panis-Barthez, will run Lexuses in Blancpain GT Europe this season…

Photo: Brecht Decancq

Tech 1 Racing, the French team behind Panis-Barthez Competition, will run the Lexus RC F GT3 in the Blancpain GT Series this season.

It effectively becomes the new lead European team for the Japanese manufacturer’s GT3 product, and will campaign an undisclosed number of cars in both the Endurance and GT World Challenge Europe (formerly Sprint Cup) rounds.

The team is a regular in the European and Asian Le Mans Series under the Panis-Barthez banner, while also competing as Tech 1 in Formula Renault.

Tech 1 takes over from Emil Frey Racing as the main Lexus partner team in Europe, with the Swiss operation instead switching to Lamborghini machinery for the upcoming season.

Emil Frey took the Lexus to the overall win in the Paul Ricard 1000 km last year after a podium finish at Silverstone in May.

This came after a rapid development phase for the relatively new car, which suffered a number of problems and lack of pace in its first few Blancpain GT races in late 2017 and early 2018.

Tech 1 will reveal its driver lineup ahead of the pre-season tests at Circuit Paul Ricard next month.

“Tech 1 Racing and Panis-Barthez Competition are delighted to join the Blancpain racing family,” said team manager Simon Abadie.

“We’re well aware of the size of the challenge that awaits us.

“We’re going to discover one of the premier, most competitive categories in the world and we have to get to grips with our new car, a new tyre manufacturer and new rivals.

“But I know just how combative my team is and we’ll do everything in our power to make our colors and those of Lexus shine!”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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