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27/03/2024 News

New look for Panis Racing in the 2024 European Le Mans Series!

Paris, March 27th 2024 - Panis Racing will be contesting its ninth season in the European Le Mans Series and the team has put together an ambitious program for 2024. The #65 ORECA 07 will be entrusted to a young and talented crew, made up of Arthur Leclerc, Charles Milesi and Manuel Maldonado. Backed by a partnership with Marc VDS and ELF, the team will also benefit from the operational support of TDS Racing.

A young and fast trio!

Having finished third in the European Le Mans Series in 2021 and 2023, and runner-up in 2022, Panis Racing is aiming for the top spots again in 2024. The French team has brought together three talented drivers to achieve this goal and compete for victory. Manuel Maldonado is continuing the adventure, having already been part of the team last year. The 24-year-old Venezuelan will be partnered by Charles Milesi and Arthur Leclerc. Frenchman Milesi, aged 23, will be making his return to ELMS, alongside his FIA World Endurance Championship program as an official Alpine driver. Leclerc from Monaco, also 23, is a development driver for Scuderia Ferrari, and will be making his first appearance in the discipline, in addition to competing in the Italian GT with a Ferrari 296 GT3.

“We've put together a top-quality team, which I'm very pleased with,” said Olivier Panis. “With Stéphane Dilouya, we’ve always set out to win, and I’m convinced we’ve got the right drivers in Manuel, Charles and Arthur. They're talented, fast and young, and that's important to me; I want to place trust in the youngsters and give them the opportunity to shine. They all have different experiences and will complement each other. I'm really excited to see them on the track together! I'd like to thank Marc VDS, who will be one of our main partners and who made it possible for us to put this trio together.”

What the drivers have to say

Manuel Maldonado: “I'm very happy to be continuing with Panis Racing in the ELMS. With my teammates Charles and Arthur, we've got everything we need to be competitive and we're in a strong position to be in the running for the title. After a successful year with the team, I'm ready to raise the bar even higher: our goal is to win the championship.” 

Charles Milesi: “I'm very happy to be part of this challenge with Panis Racing and to take part in the ELMS in its entirety. After several appearances in 2020 and 2021, this will be the first time I've competed in the whole championship. We have a very strong team and I can't wait for the first race.” 

Arthur Leclerc: “I'm delighted to be joining Panis Racing to compete in the ELMS. The LMP2 category is new to me, and I can’t wait to start working, getting to know both the team and the car, and being successful. The aim is to win the championship, but right now I'm concentrating on getting to know the discipline and getting to grips with this new environment, so I can be effective as quickly as possible. Manuel and Charles already have a lot of experience in LMP2, and it's great to be able to count on two drivers with such extensive knowledge of the category.”

Partnership with Marc VDS and ELF

Marc VDS, a long-standing competitor and motor sports enthusiast, particularly endurance racing, will be one of the partners in this adventure. The #65 ORECA 07 will carry their colors, alongside loyal and recognized partners such as ELF, which has been a partner of Panis Racing for the past seven years. The car's livery will be unveiled in the next few days, in the run-up to the start of the ELMS. “I'm extremely happy to be back in motorsport with Boutsen VDS for the GT, but knowing that I'll be taking part in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans with my friend Oliver Panis and his team is an absolute delight," said Marc van der Straten.

Technical support from TDS Racing

After many years of successful collaboration with Tech1 Racing, including a victory at Monza and two podium finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Panis Racing will draw on the experience of TDS Racing to provide operational support. The company, based in the south of France, is a benchmark in the LMP2 category, with two ELMS championship titles, a win in the FIA WEC LMP2 Pro/Am Trophy and four podium finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“We've shared an excellent journey with Sarah and Simon Abadie from Tech1 Racing,” added Olivier Panis and Stéphane Dilouya. “We've had some great times, with convincing results in the ELMS and podium finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We're proud of what we've achieved together, which has always been based on passion and ambition. It will go down as an important and unique period in the team's history. We'd like to extend our warmest thanks to Sarah and Simon for everything that's been achieved.” 

“My brother Simon and I have been working with Olivier Panis and Stéphane Dilouya for the past eight years, leveraging all Tech1 Racing's expertise and know-how to support the team,” explained Sarah Abadie. “The exponential budget constraints of the ELMS championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans are forcing us to withdraw from the endurance adventure. We’re proud of the great results achieved, and it's with this feeling that we turn the page.” 

“This is a new stage for TDS Racing and we're delighted to be starting this new chapter with Olivier and the talented Panis Racing team," said Xavier Combet. “We'll be bringing our expertise to this ambitious project. All the pieces of the puzzle are in place to achieve great things in the LMP2 Pro category, alongside our LMP2 Pro-Am programs in ELMS and IMSA.” 

In addition to the European Le Mans Series, Panis Racing will be taking part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Details of this participation will be revealed in the coming weeks.