Butel cut his teeth with two seasons in the British F4 series before deciding to step-up to the LMP3 Prototype series over the closed season. The Jerseyman links-up with the Cheshire-based Speedworks team who are known for their race winning campaigns in the British Touring Car Championship and GT programs around the world. The St Saviour-resident will contest all six rounds in the series’ inaugural season with the championship visiting iconic circuits such as Brands Hatch, Donington and Silverstone as well as an overseas round at the famous Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
The 20-year-old is one of the youngest to sample the LMP3 machine as he tested for United Autosports last year – completing over 80 laps at Snetterton in the five-litre, 420 brake horsepower sports prototype. From single-seaters to sports cars, Jack is deihted to be joining Speedworks and the LMP3 grid.
“I am so excited about joining the Speedworks LMP3 team for the year ahead,” enthused an ecstatic Butel. “There were a few options on the table for 2017 but the deal to race with a team like Speedworks was too good an opportunity to pass up. I have always wanted to go down the sports car racing route and when Christian Dick [Speedworks Team Principal] and I discussed the possibility we shared a similar passion for the car and series.
“The Ligier LMP3 is a real weapon. I am used to downforce through single-seaters but the capabilities of the Ligier are unreal. For quite big cars you can push them really hard as the faster you go the more aerodynamic grip you have. The power delivery is phenomenal and will be quite spectacular to watch when these things go wheel-to-wheel.
“I cannot wait to get going and work with Speedworks in the build up to the first round. The UK series looks very exciting and I look forward to hopefully mix it and challenge near the sharp end of the grid.”
Speedworks Team Principal Christian Dick is pleased to sign the Jerseyman ahead of the new season.
“We are delighted to have Jack on-board for our first season with the Ligier JS P3. This is the beginning of an exciting new adventure for us, and to have recruited such a promising up-and-coming young talent as our first signing is great news.
“We have kept a close eye on Jack over the past couple of seasons as he has cut his teeth on the TOCA support package in the F4 British Championship, and in what is commonly regarded as the UK’s toughest junior single-seater series, he has demonstrated consistent progression and genuine potential.
“We are confident we can continue to help Jack to extract his full potential behind the wheel of the Ligier JS P3 in the LMP3 Cup Championship, and we look forward to announcing further drivers in due course.”
Britain’s LMP3 Cup Championship has received official endorsement from the ACO, the organising body behind the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours and the 2017 champion will be awarded complimentary entry into the 2018 Michelin Le Mans Cup, worth more than €45,000 and taking in six rounds across Europe including the prestigious ‘Road to Le Mans’ showcase race at La Sarthe – a sizeable incentive for Butel ahead of the new season.
Jack and Speedworks began their partnership at the championship season launch today (14 February) at Brands Hatch. A series of tests before the opening round are planned before the first round at Donington in April.
2017 UK LMP3 Cup Championship Calendar
Round 1 – Donington Park (National) – 22/23 April
Round 2 – Brands Hatch (Grand Prix) – 20/21 May
Round 3 – Spa-Francorchamps – 9/10/11 June
Round 4 – Silverstone (Grand Prix) – 1/2 July
Round 5 – Snetterton (300) – 12/13 August
Round 6 – Donington Park (Grand Prix) – 16/17 September
Source. Jack Butel Racing