The Automobile Club de l'Ouest had good news for Pegasus Racing on Monday, confirming that the French outfit had gained a place on this year's Le Mans entry.
The Strasbourg-based squad had originally been no higher than fifth on the LMP reserve list when the first set of entries was published on 13 February, but was invited to join the teams taking part in the 82nd running of the endurance classic following the withdrawal of several contenders, notably Millennium Racing, last week. For Julien Schell and his troops, the countdown has now begun to be ready for the official test day on 1 June.
“The whole team was absolutely over the moon when they heard the news,” team manager and driver Schell explained, “In 2010, we started the race but failed to make it to the finish, so our main aim will be to see the chequered flag in the highest possible position in keeping with our philosophy.
“At the end of 2013, when we won all the titles in the Speed EuroSeries, Niki Leutwiler and I promised each other that we'd do Le Mans together. When we learned that we were pretty far down on the list of reserves, it was a bit of a blow as it created a stumbling block for our project. However, we didn't lose hope as there are always withdrawals. We were right to believe in it and, from now on, every minute counts!”
One of the team's most pressing tasks is to reach agreement with a third driver, as regular pilot Jonathan Coleman will not be available for Le Mans.
“We're going to be talking to other drivers to try and finalise things before the test day,” Schell said of the vacancy in the team's Morgan-Nissan.
Schell is automatically qualified as he raced in the 2010 event but, as a rookie, Leutwiler will have to do his test on the simulator on 12 May as well as the ten obligatory laps on the Sarthe circuit on 1 June.