FIA GT Series title winner Laurens Vanthoor will make his debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours this season after inking a deal to join Sebastien Loeb Racing for the French classic.

The Belgian will team up with Rene Rast at the wheel of the team's ORECA 03-Nissan, which will also mark the first time that the former F3 racer will have competed at the wheel of a prototype machine.

The remaining driver in the team has still to be confirmed.

"Laurens' performances have not gone unnoticed those last couple of years and we clearly observed them last year when fighting against him in the FIA GT Series >> team manager Dominique Heintz said. "He is young, talented and ambitious. He has the perfect profile. Just like Rene, he embodies the team's values. They know each other quite well, they both have an experience of 24-hour races, and they have been team-mates before. That was an important factor for us.

"We will have a lot to discover at Le Mans and we will do it all together. With young, but particularly motivated, team and drivers."

Vanthoor himself said he was delighted to be given the chance to make his Le Mans debut with the French team, which is also appearing at the Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time.

"Le Mans is one of the most important motorsport races in the world," he said. "Since I have been a GT driver, I have taken part in several endurance races, like Spa and the N?rburgring, but Le Mans is even bigger than that. Participating in this race has been one of my objectives. I have been working for it for several years and I am happy to now achieve it.

"It is a very important event for me, and also for my future. Being at the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been always a dream. It is a unique race. I am going to drive a new car and to open a new chapter. That is very exciting!"



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