Stevens returns to LMP2 with Panis-Barthez team

Ex-Formula 1 driver Will Stevens will return to LMP2 in 2018 with a deal to drive for the Panis-Barthez Competition team in both the European Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Stevens returns to LMP2 with Panis-Barthez team
#23 Panis-Barthez Competition Ligier JS P217 Gibson: Fabien Barthez, Timothe Buret, Nathanael Berthon
Will Stevens, JMW Motorsport
#84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE: Robert Smith, Will Stevens, Dries Vanthoor
#5 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS: Marcel Fassler, Dries Vanthoor, Will Stevens
Will Stevens, JMW Motorsport
#23 Panis-Barthez Competition Ligier JS P217 Gibson: Fabien Barthez, Timothe Buret, Nathanael Berthon
Fabien Barthez, Timothé Buret, Nathanael Berthon, Panis-Barthez Competition

Stevens, 26, first switched to endurance racing in 2016 after losing his Manor F1 drive at the end of the previous year, finishing second in class at Le Mans with the Jota Sport-run G-Drive LMP2 squad.

In 2017 the British driver turned his attentions to GT racing, finishing runner-up in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup for the WRT Audi team and winning his class at Le Mans in a JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 shared with Rob Bell and Dries Vanthoor.

Now Stevens returns to LMP2 for the 2018 campaign, partnering Timothe Buret and Julien Canal in Panis-Barthez's Ligier JS P217 for a third attempt at Le Mans and the full ELMS season.

WEC LMP2 champion Canal makes the move to the team from Rebellion Racing, which has returned to LMP1 after a sole season in LMP2.

"The year after the end of my experience in F1, I realised how exciting it is to drive an endurance prototype," said Stevens. "I felt really good from the beginning in LMP2.

"To complete my experience as driver, last year, I focused on GTs, but for the season 2018 I’m excited to be back in an LMP2."

Team boss Olivier Panis added: "For the 2018 season, we managed to keep on board Timothe Buret, associated to the huge experience and records of Julien Canal and a top talent like Will Stevens.

"With this mix, I am sure we will be one of the strongest team on the grid. I can’t wait to see them in action."

Panis-Barthez finished seventh in last year's ELMS standings with Buret and Fabien Barthez, the former Manchester United goalkeeper who founded the team along with ex-F1 star Panis in 2016.

Barthez has stood down from driving duties for this year, but remains an ambassador for the team.

shares
comments
Toyota targets beating Le Mans distance record
Previous article

Toyota targets beating Le Mans distance record

Next article

Giovinazzi in line for Ferrari Le Mans call-up

Giovinazzi in line for Ferrari Le Mans call-up
Load comments
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans Prime

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Prime

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021