Old hands to tackle Le Mans

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The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most chal­leng­ing races in world motor­sport, so pop­u­lar that it often tempts rac­ing dri­vers back out of retire­ment. This year, a new effort by the name Rac­ing Team Ned­er­land is set to com­pete at the endurance clas­sic, as well as the full sea­son of the Euro­pean Le Mans Series, with a cou­ple of famous names behind the wheel.

Jan Lam­mers, 22-time Le Mans com­peti­tor, will return to the LMP2 fold with a brand-new Dal­lara P217 Gib­son togeth­er with vast­ly expe­ri­enced for­mer For­mu­la 1 dri­ver Rubens Bar­richel­lo. 60-year-old Lam­mers won the 24 Hours back in 1988 for Jaguar, and also has con­sid­er­able expe­ri­ence in For­mu­la 1, mak­ing his debut at the 1979 Argen­tin­ian Grand Prix. He last com­pet­ed at Le Mans in 2011 for the Hope Rac­ing hybrid LMP1 car.

Bar­richel­lo, on the oth­er hand, will arrive at the Cir­cuit de la Sarthe as a rook­ie. The Brazil­ian made 322 For­mu­la 1 starts, win­ning 11 races and scor­ing 68 podi­ums. The 44-year-old has, how­ev­er, enjoyed some suc­cess in sports­car rac­ing since retir­ing from F1 in 2011. Last year he fin­ished sec­ond at the Rolex 24 at Day­tona for (2017 win­ners) Wayne Tay­lor Rac­ing. The pair will be joined by Dutch­man Frits van Eerd, who is bring­ing the finan­cial back­ing to the 2017 effort.

We are all very proud to have such a great dri­ver and sports per­son­al­i­ty with us,” Lam­mers said about his Brazil­ian team­mate. “I know Rubens since he was 16 and the first rac­ing car he drove in Europe was ours. With­in a few laps we imme­di­ate­ly realised already then that he was very spe­cial. Now 322 Grands Prix and 11 race wins lat­er he is the most expe­ri­enced F1 dri­ver on the plan­et. He fits in great with Frits and myself as a hard-work­ing fam­i­ly man. He gives us a mas­ter­class in dri­ving and we all have a lot of fun doing it.”

Quote source: Euro­pean Le Mans Series
Image sources:  Euro­pean Le Mans Series / WEC-Mag­a­zin