Team ORECA has revealed the signing of former Formula One driver – and current World Touring Car Championship ace – Tiago Monteiro for this summer's Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Portuguese racer will line-up alongside Stephane Ortelli and GP2 race winner Bruno Senna for the event, which will mark his La Sarthe debut in a prototype machine.
It will mark the third time Monteiro will have competed in the 24-hour classic after competing in the GTS class in both 1999 and 2001 and he admitted he was thrilled to be given the chance to take part once again in the biggest sportscar race of the year.
"I am delighted to return to Le Mans,” he said. “It is a special race in my heart and it is an honour to be invited by Team ORECA.
"I have already had the opportunity to test the prototype twice this winter and I've been impressed. Its acceleration and general behaviour is similar to those of an excellent single-seater. After my F1 and WTCC time, to be part of such a team is also a dream come true, but big responsibilities come along with it, as it will be the first time I'll run in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the most prestigious category.
“I accepted the challenge because I like to fight until the very end, without giving up and that is an essential quality at Le Mans."
With Peugeot and Audi again set to be the pace-setters with their diesel powered machines, Monteiro said the main aim for the race would be to lead the petrol runners home and he added that he was looking forward to competing with his two big name team-mates.
“We know our car has good potential but it will be impossible to fight against the diesel cars,” he said. “Our aim will be to finish ahead of the other fuel-powered cars.
"Stephane Ortelli has a lot of experience in this race, which he has already won. As for Bruno Senna, he is already a confirmed talent, one of the best of the new generation and he has the responsibility of carrying on a name that evokes some of the greatest memories in motorsport. I can't wait for June, I'm looking forward to living an intense and emotional weekend at the wheel of a prototype from Team ORECA.”