Hong Kong driver Darryl O'Young has been confirmed as the first signing alongside Matthew Marsh in the SAR's pioneering Hong Kong Le Mans team.

Marsh, the reigning Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia champion, and O'Young, one of his rivals in the series, are to be co-drivers on the squad, which aims to take part in next year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Making it a true Hong Kong 'dream team' will be recently retired SAR legend Charles Kwan Siu Cheung, who has agreed to act as an official adviser to the project.

O'Young was born in Vancouver and began karting at the age of eight. He moved to the SAR at the beginning of last year to start competing in the Carrera Cup.

"This is a dream come true - I'm still pinching myself," he admitted, "Since I was young, Le Mans has always been the peak of sportscar racing, so to land this project is the culmination of everything I've been aiming for in my racing career.

"At 25, I feel I'm always learning, but I'm ready for the challenge and this is a fantastic opportunity. I've learned so much from racing in the Carrera Cup last season and this season, and it's really prepared me for this chance. I've done a 24-hour race and a twelve-hour race in California and, although they were club-level events, they gave me good experience to prepare for this."

Marsh, who has been spearheading the ambitious project, was delighted to secure O'Young's services.

"It's fantastic news that Darryl has joined the project," he said, "I know from competing against him in the Carrera Cup that he is an extremely talented driver who has plenty of experience racing Porsches.

"Just as importantly, however, Darryl is a team player, someone who will put the needs of the team ahead of the individual. Right from the start of our discussions, he has been very enthusiastic about the Le Mans campaign and is keen to be part of Hong Kong motor racing history."

The Hong Kong assault will be run by Noble Group-GruppeM Racing, and has been further boosted by the news that former Carrera Cup champion Kwan has agreed to be an adviser. The 41-year old retired from competitive racing last November, after 20 years in the sport, but admitted that he was keen to be involved in Marsh's programme.

"It's a great project, one that will raise the profile of motor racing in Hong Kong," Kwan insisted, "Matthew and Darryl know I have plenty of experience, especially having been involved in endurance racing in Japan, so that's why they've asked me to be an adviser. They've been putting a lot of time and effort into this and I'm happy to help."

"Charles brings vast knowledge and experience to the set-up," Marsh added, "He will be advising us on a wide range of subjects, from endurance driving skills to technical issues. He's fully supportive of the Le Mans campaign and it's a huge boost for the team to have him involved."

The road to Le Mans will begin with four races in this year's Le Mans Endurance Series in Europe, followed by a trip to the Sebring 12 Hours next March. Good results in those five outings will be enough to secure an invitation to the Le Mans 24 Hours in June 2006. A two-man driving team will be enough for the LMES events, but a third driver will be required for Sebring and Le Mans, and the team has been linked to a number of prospective pilots, including rising single-seater star Ho Pin Tung.

"Sebring is more than nine months away, so we have plenty of time to select the third driver," Marsh insisted, "All the pieces in the project are coming together nicely. We worked long and hard to put the sponsorship package in place and now, with Darryl on board, Charles joining as an adviser and the car delivered, we are ready to go racing."

The team will makes its LMES debut in the Monza 1000km on 9 July.