Minassian joins G-Drive for next two ELMS races
Former Peugeot LMP1 racer Nicolas Minassian will replace Toyota development driver Ryo Hirakawa in the G-Drive LMP2 squad in the next two rounds of the European Le Mans Series.
The 44-year-old will move over from his management role with the DragonSpeed team, which operates G-Drive's ELMS entry, for next weekend's Red Bull Ring round and the Paul Ricard event in August.
He will share the squad's #22 Oreca-Gibson 07 LMP2 with three-time Daytona 24 Hours winner Memo Rojas and Frenchman Leo Roussel.
Minassian is standing in for Hirakawa because the Japanese driver is unavailable courtesy of his commitments in the Super GT Series with the TOM'S Lexus team.
"I’m really excited to get back behind the wheel of a prototype and race in such a competitive series," said Minassian.
"I did a few laps at the Le Mans test when Elton [Julian, team boss] gave me a run with four-stint old tyres and a full tank of fuel, so I already have a feel for the new-for-2017 LMP2s."
Minassian said his job would be "to assist Leo and Memo in scoring two good results and valuable points" after they moved into contention for the championship with victory at the most recent ELMS round at Monza in May together with Hirakawa.
Minassian will also contest the Spa 24 Hours at the end of this month at the wheel of a Pro-Am class Ferrari 488 GT3 entered under the Spirit of Race banner by AF Corse.
He will share the car in the Endurance Cup round of the Blancpain GT Series on July 29/30 with Davide Rizzo, Alex Demirdjian and a yet-to-be-determined fourth driver.
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