Greaves Motorsport is pleased to announce their driver line up for the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. Christian Zugel, Ricardo Gonzalez and Elton Julian will drive for the team in Renate Ojjeh’s Zytek-Nissan in the LM P2 class. They will take part in the eight rounds of the new FIA World Championship, which includes the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Christian Zugel, originally from Stuttgart, is an enthusiastic competitor in the US Historic Racing scene. During the past two seasons, Christian has also raced a prototype successfully in the LMPC and FLM categories in the American Le Mans Series and the Le Mans Series.
Christian reflected on the proposed programme.
“I am very much looking forward to our WEC adventure and to actually race at Le Mans for the first time. To be able to continue my driving partnership with Elton is really fantastic and to race with, as opposed to against, Ricardo will also be a great pleasure. We are very pleased to be joining Greaves Motorsport who have proved themselves to be winners in 2011, we will aim to continue that level of performance and achievement.”
Ricardo Gonzalez, a native of Mexico City, comes from a family of racers, both his father and brother competed at international level. Ricardo was a single seater driver from 1994 to 2003 in many top level series. In 2001 to 2003 he raced in the European FC Championship and the World Series by Nissan, scoring several podiums, pole positions and lap records. He returned to competition in 2010, also in the American Le Mans Series, driving a LMPC prototype. In 2011 he shared the LMPC Drivers’ Championship in the championship.
Ricardo had this to say about the prospects for the new season.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity, after winning the LMPC Championship in ALMS it made sense to step up to LM P2, and we couldn’t have found a better way than to do it than with Greaves Motorsport in the FIA World Endurance Championship. They are proven winners and I look forward to continuing that tradition with them. Racing at Le Mans has always been my dream and I can’t wait to do my first laps around the circuit with Christian Zugel and Elton Julian who have been my fierce competitors in the past seasons but are also good friends, 2012 is looking very good for us.”
The third member of the team, Elton Julian from Quito, Ecuador, has an impressive record in motorsport over the past two decades. Elton has the distinction of being the youngest driver to win a round of the British Formula Three Championship and was a test and reserve driver with the French Formula One team, Larrousse. He raced in all forms of motorsport around the world before taking a break from competition in 2001. He returned to endurance racing at the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours and has continued since that time principally in the American Le Mans Series.
Elton gave his thoughts for 2012,
“It’s a real pleasure to continue racing with Christian Zugel for a third year, together we have achieved everything possible in the LMPC class. So, moving up to LM P2 is a natural progression. Joining a team like Greaves Motorsport, partnering with Ricardo and returning to Le Mans makes me the luckiest guy in the paddock. I’m looking forward to picking up where Greaves Motorsport left off and bringing this excellent team the results it deserves.”
Greaves Motorsport Team Manager, Jacob Greaves, commented, “ This is a great start to the new year for Greaves Motorsport, confirming a driver line up that will allow the team to challenge for victories in the new FIA World Endurance Championship. We are confident that together with these drivers and along with our partners Nissan, Zytek, Dunlop and Motul, we can achieve our full potential.”
The 2012 FIA World Endurance will consist of eight rounds including the Le Mans 24 Hours and will commence in Florida with the 12 Hours of Sebring on 17th March.