HVM Status GP has signed Canada's Tony Burgess and Switzerland's Jonathan Hirschi to compete in the European Le Mans Series race at Imola and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Burgess and Hirschi will team up for the first time this weekend at the Italian track, taking the wheel of HVM Status GP's LMP2 class Lola-Judd coupe. The event will serve as a warm-up and acclimatisation for the Le Mans 24 Hours over the weekend of 22-23 June.
In joining HVM Status GP, Toronto-based Burgess lines up with the only international motor racing team to operate with a Canadian licence. He has contested the Le Mans 24 Hours six times, taking a podium in the GT class at the wheel of a Porsche on his debut in 2000, and most recently racing a Lola in the LMP1 division in 2010.
Since 2007, the 57-year old has accumulated a wealth of sports prototype experience, with several podium finishes in the American Le Mans Series, but has also contested the 24-hour races at Daytona, Spa and Bathurst - and even a 24-hour motorcycle race.
“I am very pleased to be joining HVM Status GP for the Imola race as a lead-in to Le Mans,” the veteran admitted, “As I will be with Jonathan at Le Mans, it's great to be driving with him this coming weekend in Italy.”
Hirschi, some 30 years Burgess' junior, won the 2006 Swiss Formula Renault Championship and the 2009 Eurocup Megane Trophy on his rise through the motorsport ranks. Since 2010, however, he has focused on endurance racing, running in the FIA GT1 World Championship before majoring on LMP2 from 2012.
This year will mark Hirschi's fourth successive Le Mans 24 Hours start, and his second consecutively in an LMP2 car. He currently lies third in the European Le Mans Series standings, after scoring a third place in the opening round at Silverstone with TDS Racing.
“I'm really happy to join HVM Status GP for the Le Mans 24 Hours and Imola,” the youngster said, “We have a good package, and this weekend at Imola is a good chance to learn the car and integrate with the team - ideal preparation for Le Mans.”
Status GP made its Le Mans 24 Hours debut in 2012 with its current Lola-Judd, and returns to the race in 2013 buoyed by a new partnership with HVM, which has a strong track record in IndyCar and Champ Car competition in the USA.
Further details of the team's Le Mans programme will be confirmed in the coming weeks.