Tech 1 Racing and Panis-Barthez Compétition like nothing more than new challenges, and soon they will add another string to their bow by making their debut in GT racing in addition to their operations in Formula Renault and the European Le Mans Series.
Featuring among the SRO-events flagships, the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe (ex-Sprint Cup) and the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup enjoy a calendar that brings the entrants to ten of the most beautiful circuits in Europe including Spa-Francorchamps. In fact, every year this track hosts the not-to-be-missed blue-riband event of the GT season - the Total 24 Hours of Spa!
In its first campaign in this genuine benchmark in GT customer racing, the Toulouse-based team run by Simon and Sarah Abadie will enter the Lexus RC F GT3 and collaborate with a manufacturer for the first time.
The Lexus RC F GT3 was launched in 2016 and debuted in this branch of the sport towards the end of 2017. It soon proved its potential with a podium finish at Silverstone followed by its first victory in the Paul Ricard 6 Hours last June.
The Lexus RC F GT3 is powered by a 5.4-litre V8 engine and has a 6-speed sequential gearbox. It has also shone in the International GT Open, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series as well as in Super GT, and enabled Lexus to become the first Asian manufacturer to win a race in the VLN Endurance Championship on the Nordschleife.
The drivers will be announced between now and the official pre-season test days on 13-14 March on the Circuit Paul Ricard.
“Tech 1 Racing and Panis-Barthez Competition are delighted to join the Blancpain racing family,” says a very happy Simon Abadie, the Tech 1 Racing and Panis-Barthez Compétition team manager. “We’re well aware of the size of the challenge that awaits us. We’re going to discover one of the premier, most competitive categories in the world and we have to get to grips with our new car, a new tyre manufacturer and new rivals. But I know just how combative my team is and we’ll do everything in our power to make our colours and those of Lexus shine!”
“It’s both a source of pride and honour to begin this adventure with a manufacturer like Lexus. It represents a huge step forward for the whole team and I’d like to say a particular thank you to Loic David, the manager of the Lexus GT3 programme in Europe, Olivier Naus, the Lexus Brand, Events & Motorsport manager and Noritoshi Arai, the technical director in charge of Toyota Motorsport GmbH coordination. We’ll do our utmost to be equal to their confidence in this new challenge that the team can’t wait to tackle!”
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