Olivier Panis : " We have new ambitions for 2020! ”

Olivier Panis : " We have new ambitions for 2020! ”

04.06.2019: Team principal of Panis-Barthez Competition currently engaged in ELMS and at the Le Mans 24 Hours, Olivier Panis can already announce new team's projects for 2020. Last weekend, race drivers Will Stevens, Juli

Team principal of Panis-Barthez Competition currently engaged in ELMS and at the Le Mans 24 Hours, Olivier Panis can already announce new team's projects for 2020.

 



Last weekend, race drivers Will Stevens, Julien Canal, Rene Binder and reserve driver Timothé Buret completed 86 laps of the Le Mans track during the test day. This iconic endurance race is of course in all minds, but Olivier Panis and his associates Simon and Sarah Abadie are nevertheless working on future plans.



In addition to ELMS and Asian Le Mans Series, the team is keen to join new championships across the Atlantic but also to continue, in association with Tech1 Racing, the Blancpain GT Series journey as well as considering GT4. "We currently have two LMP2 and even a third one, said Olivier Panis. Since the team has grown year after year, since we have gathered a very nice crew, we will add new challenges next season. »

 

Asian Le Mans Series remains one of the main destinations. The team started there this year with a Ligier JS P2 driven by Matthieu Lahaye, his brother Jean Baptiste, and François Heriau. Olivier Panis is delighted with a first experience rewarded by two podiums. "Our desire, our goal is to do the Asian Le Mans Series again next winter. We are satisfied with last season; it was a really great breakthrough, and we want to go back with two cars. »




2019 season is currently focused on Europe where Panis-Barthez Competition is entering two Ligier JS P217s in ELMS, since their debut in 2016. Desire to continue is still there. "Staying in ELMS is one of our priorities because it’s a true championship, with a true competition and an incredible level. If the business plan still sounds wise, we want to carry on with at least two cars. I love this championship, very well organized. Races are excited and competition is fierce… I see nothing wrong in there. The wish is to grow through new challenges and of course, to have two cars invited to the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year! »

 


A third playground is under consideration for 2020. In addition to the Asian Le Mans Series and the ELMS, the French team wants to cross the Atlantic and fight in America. The team looks at it for some time now and is ready to make the move. "Our third wish is to compete in the United States, so we plan to take part in the 24 Hours of Daytona and in the 12 Hours of Sebring with two cars. We are already working in these three directions. Panis-Barthez Competition and Tech1 Racing feel necessary and interesting to move abroad.



Last but not least, GT is not side-tracked. Even better, bigger projects are in the pipeline. "We are very proud to work with Lexus in the Blancpain GT Series. The ambition is to do it again in 2020, with two Lexus GT3s. We have a lot of requests from young drivers and Am too.

 

By the way, we already have Fabien Barthez in one, and I would like to have Eric Debard back home in the 2nd. We are also looking at GT4. It has grown a lot in France, there is a very good level and Toyota is pushing us a to enter two Supra. So, we're thinking about it. »



Interview conducted by David Bristol for Endurance Info
 


 Muriel Belgy - photos Panis

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/olivier-panis-new-ambitions-2020---191766.html

04.06.2019 / MaP

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