Silverstone-based automotive and motorsport engineering company Delta Motorsport has pulled together a quality sextet to pilot the two Nissan-powered Oreca 03 cars it will run under the Millennium Racing banner in the 2014 World Endurance Championship.
Fabien Giroix, John Martin and Oliver Turvey will share car #22, with Mike Conway, Shinji Nakano and Stefan Johansson in car #23 as Delta and Millennium shoots for LMP2 honours.
“This is the pinnacle of sportscar racing and Delta Motorsport has been one of the most professional teams in the series,” F1 veteran Johansson commented, “They have a terrific engineering base and great car preparation. This will be my first full season of racing since 2007 and I can't wait for the championship to get started!”
Johansson had long experience in F1, with spells at both Ferrari and McLaren before moving to sports car racing. He won Le Mans in 1997 in a TWR Porsche, and later moved on to running his own team in the States.
Giroix, meanwhile, has been heavily involved in sportscar racing for most of his career after his single-seater career stalled. In the Nineties, the Frenchman campaigned a McLaren F1 and, more latterly, moved on to a Lamborghini Gallardo.
Australian Martin is one of sportscar racing's newer aces, having enjoyed success in Formula Ford and Superleague Formula, while Shinji Nakano, like Johansson, is an F1 veteran who also raced in IndyCars before turning his hand to the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Two Britons complete the squad, with Mike Conway combining a burgeoning career in IndyCars and a development role at the factory Toyota LMP1 squad with his Delta/Millennium duties.
McLaren F1 test driver Turvey, meanwhile, has been a championship contender in F3, GP2 and, more recently, in the European Le Mans series, and admits that is excited to be part of the team as he looks to build on a successful start to his sportscar career.
“The team has an impressive engineering background and shares my passion and desire to win races,” he noted, “I am privileged to be partnered with Fabien and John, and I am excited to begin working with them. I would like to thank McLaren for their continued support and for allowing me to compete alongside my F1 commitments.”
Delta finished second in last year's championship, winning five of the eight races and, this year, the potency of Delta's input has already been shown when it partnered successful US race team Action Express at the Daytona 24 Hours, bringing the #9 Coyote Corvette Daytona Prototype home in third position.
Delta has developed a new body for Coyote and will showcase this in the United Sportscar Championship later in the year., but acknowledges that competition will be equally fierce in the tightly regulated LMP2 class.
“The window for improvement is small, so fine details have an even greater impact,” managing director Simon Dowson explained, “Because of our engineering and design background, we can analyse and interpret data to enhance the performance of the car, the drivers and the crew. We bring the performance of a factory team to a private entry.”