Nielsen Racing has confirmed that team regulars Tony Wells and Garett Grist will be joined at the 88th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans by Alex Kapadia at the wheel of the #24 Oreca Gibson.
For the British-based team, the September 19-20 event will mark their debut in the blue riband event, having earned the entry by winning the Asian Le Mans Series in February.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to race the 24 Hours of Le Mans.” said Grist. “Growing up as a kid, I would camp out in my family room – staying up all night to watch it – and now I’m in it! It’s my first time, so personally, I just want to learn as much as I can, get all the laps in and gain as much experience as possible. It’s so valuable for my career. I want to thank Nielsen Racing and Tony for trusting me with this.”
Alex Kapadia is no stranger to the Nielsen team and brings a stable pair of hands to the #24 car. “I first drove for Sven’s team when it was known as Mark’s Electricals in 2012 and then again with the team in its current guise from 2015.” he said. “I have raced at Le Mans in the past in GTE and we will soon be testing at Spa in low aero configuration to prepare for the 24-Hour race.
“It’s a new challenge for the team, its first LMP2 race and going against rivals that compete in P2s week in week out, so our aim is to accelerate our learning process, gel as a team and get up to speed as soon as possible!”
The team has been busy preparing for the ultimate test at Circuit de la Sarthe. Following the recent European Le Mans Series round at Circuit Paul Ricard, the team took the opportunity to test the new LMP2 Oreca 07 Gibson at Estoril, with further running scheduled for Spa-Francorchamps.
“It’s an honour for us to be competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time” said Team Principal Sven Thompson. “The chance of doing this event is not something to pass up, so when we took the Asian Le Mans Series title, we started to look at our options for the big race.
“The global pandemic has made life harder for everyone, both within the sport and outside of the sport, but we’re really happy with the way we have brought together a strong line-up and we now look forward to a competitive race next month.”