Gonzales, Morand eye WEC domination

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Ricardo Gonzalez is eyeing another WEC drivers’ trophy with the No. 43 LMP2 race car powered by a Nissan engine. WEC.COM

Ricardo Gonzalez is eyeing another WEC drivers’ trophy with the No. 43 LMP2 race car powered by a Nissan engine. WEC.COM

Ricardo Gonzalez has joined forces with Benoît Morand to form the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) team RGR Sport by Morand this season. They will be running a Ligier JS P2-Nissan driven by Gonzalez, Filipe Albuquerque and Bruno Senna in the World Endurance Championship.

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Morand, the Man of the year 2014 in the European Le Mans Series, teamed up with Japanese outfit SARD for the last World Endurance Championship. In the meantime, Gonzalez has set up his own team and joined the ranks of the driver/teamowners, following the likes of Simon Dolan and Ed Brown.

Morand has also changed his car. The Morgan is to be replaced by Onroak Automotive’s latest design, the Ligier JS P2, which won the Rolex 24 at Daytona with ESM the other week. However, the number remains the same and the Ligier will bear No. 43, like the Morgan that sadly didn’t finish Le Mans last June.

The team will fly the flag for Mexico, Gonzalez’s home country, while the late Ayrton Senna’s nephew, Bruno, represents Brazil. Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque is the only European.

Albuquerque has not yet driven the Ligier, but he has experience in LMP2 having taken the wheel of the Gibson 015S for Jota Sport in European Le Mans Series (ELMS) last year. He is also no stranger to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, having been part of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro crew for the past two years. Senna also drove in Le Mans Prototype 1 at Le Mans in 2009 and in GT with Aston Martin Racing in 2014.

As for Ricardo Gonzalez, in 2013 he won the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with OAK Racing and went on to claim the World Endurance Championship drivers’ trophy that same season. “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,” he added.

The team’s first outing will be on April 18 at the Six Hours of Silverstone, the first round of the World Endurance Championship.

WEC.COM

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