Image credit: Murphy Prototypes.
Irish Endurance Racing team Murphy Prototypes has today confirmed that its driver line up for 2015 will comprise three highly experienced drivers: Mark Patterson, Michael Lyons and Nathanaël Berthon. All will take part in the Official European Le Mans Series pre-season test day at Paul Ricard Circuit on Monday (today) and Tuesday (23rd & 24th March), driving the team’s Oreca 03R Nissan-powered LMP2 prototype sportscar.
New York-based businessman Mark Patterson, who was born in South Africa, brings with him a wealth of sportscar racing experience, having competed extensively in the States and Europe over the past decade. After enjoying a successful season with Murphy Prototypes in 2013, he is delighted to return to the team for the whole of the 2015 season:
“It’s great to be back with Murphy Prototypes for 2015. The proven reliability of the car, together with Nathanaël and Mark as team mates, means we have a really strong line up and I believe we’ll be in a great position to challenge for top overall positions.”
Nathanaël Berthon rejoins Murphy Prototypes for his second season, the 25-year old Frenchman delivering a series of impressive performances last year, which included a pole position at Paul Ricard. His former success in single-seaters means he adds another dimension of experience to the driver line up:
‘I am very happy to have the opportunity of a second season with the team. Last year we showed just how fast the car can be and I’m sure that this year we will build on what we achieved. I would like to thank Greg Murphy for putting his faith in me again and I my aim is to prove he has made the right decision.”
Having tested with the team recently, Michael Lyons completes the three-man Murphy Prototypes driver line up for 2015. No stranger to the ELMS, the 23-year old Englishman previously raced a Ferrari in the series’ highly competitive GTE category:
“I’m very excited about joining Murphy Prototypes for a full ELMS season in the LMP2 category. 2014 was a good year for me in the GTE class, so it will be great to move up to the highest category and fight for overall honours. My tests in the Oreca have gone really well, the team is fantastic and it’s clear that everyone is working towards the same goal. I therefore think we have a good a chance as any at the title.”
Team Principal Greg Murphy, who leads the racing operation from his Dublin base, is very pleased with his line up of drivers and predicts that the unique blend of talent and experience will combine to produce a winning formula this season:
“I am more excited about this year than I have been for any other. Having won a round of the ELMS and scored a number of podium finishes in the past, I feel that with the drivers and the great team of people we have behind us, we are in a good position to battle for the top positions and achieve another win. It also gives us an excellent opportunity to challenge for the championship title.”
The European Le Mans Series (ELMS) features five events in five different countries, with the first round held at Silverstone on 11th April. In addition to the ELMS, the team has also been invited to compete in the 24-hours of Le Mans, which takes place on 13 & 14 June. This will be the fourth time the Murphy Prototypes team has entered what is undoubtedly the worlds’ greatest endurance race.