Image credit: L’Equipe.
French sports magazine L’Equipe has today reported that ex-F1 and sports car regular Olivier Panis and flamboyant ex-French national team goal-keeper Fabien Barthez are forming a new team with the intent of entering the 2016 European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The new team, Panis-Barthez Competition, will campaign a Ligier-Nissan LMP2 chassis and will be run by Tech1. While it is unlikely that Panis will drive, Barthez will take the wheel, stepping up to the prototype class from the GT ranks and the team is also looking to recruit two additional drivers. The expectation being it will form a training ground for upcoming endurance talent.
“Our project will last three years and we want to help young people to progress.” said Panis “Our careers are already made.”
“This is not a philanthropic exercise because the sport requires substantial financial resources, however, we want to share our experience”
The team expects to begin testing towards the end of November with Barthez at the wheel.
“This is a great initiative and great news for our sport” added Gérard Neveu, head of WEC and ELMS.