Will Stevens will bid for GTE-Am honours in next month’s Le Mans 24 Hours (17-18 Jun). Stevens has signed with British team, JMW Motorsport, to race a brand new Ferrari 488 GTE in the GTE Am class with Le Mans “rookies” Rob Smith (GB) and Dries Vanthoor (B), Stevens’ Belgian Audi Club Team WRT co-driver in the Blancpain Series.
Will, who will be driving for JMW, a GTE sportscar and racing a Ferrari all for the very first time, finished second in the LMP2 class with G-Drive Racing on his Le Mans début last June, the ex-Formula One driver going on to record WEC LMP2 wins at Fuji and Shanghai. Will has a Sprint Cup race at Zolder on the same day as the official Le Mans test day (4 Jun) but will now look in to the logistics of attempting to do both events.
Having scored a podium result in the Sprint Cup at Brands Hatch last weekend (7 May), unfortunately “lady luck” was not on Will’s side in the second round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup today (14 May). Will plus Marcel Fässler (CH) and Vanthoor (B), drove their Belgian Audi Club Team WRT entered Audi R8 LMS at Silverstone.
Vanthoor started the Audi R8 LMS from the 11th row of the 55-car grid, Dries having posted the second fastest time in Q2 before a trip in to the gravel at Copse Corner. Having swapped to Stevens under Safety Car conditions, Will made it inside the top-15 before encountering electronic problems affecting the accelerator and retiring.
Will Stevens (GB): Lives: Surrey, England. Aged 25.
“I’m really looking forward to going back to Le Mans. After the experience last year on my début, I desperately wanted to return but only if I had the chance to win and I believe JMW’s driver line-up gives me a good shot at GTE Am honours. I had opportunities in LMP2, a class in which I finished second last year, but my focus this year is on GTs and I believe that going to Le Mans in a GTE car can only add to my experience. I’m very excited with this last-minute opportunity. The Silverstone retirement is massively disappointing especially after the Brands podium. So it’s a case of focusing on my next race at Zolder.”
Jim McWhirter, Team Principal, JMW Motorsport:
“It is an absolute pleasure to welcome Will to the team for the LM24 Hours. We wanted to compete at the highest level in the race and having acquired the Ferrari 488, it was logical to put the best drivers in the car hence the decision to go for Will, Dries and Rob. The team are fully motivated for the race and the presence of Will adds to that
Source. Martyn Pass