Risi Competizione has reconfirmed its intention to compete in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans while at the same time confirming an all-French driver line-up for its assault on GTE Pro victory.
The Houston-based outfit was confirmed as one of the entrants for the GTE Pro category when the race’s entry list was released, but the class has since seen multiple high-profile withdrawals from Porsche and Corvette. The team has now once again confirmed that it will be competing in September.
It also confirmed the three-man line-up that will be piloting its Ferrari 488 GTE Evo. French veterans Olivier Pla and Sebastien Bourdais will be joined by compatriot Jules Gounon.
Pla and Bourdais join the Ferrari team after stints with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, whose Ford GT factory programme ended in late 2019. Pla has twelve Le Mans starts to his name with a best result of 2nd in the LMP2 class in 2013 but has also raced in LMP1 and GTE Pro. He also currently serves as factory driver with Mazda in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship.
Bourdais, a Le Mans native, first raced in the French endurance classic in 1999 and has since gone on to achieve three overall podiums with Peugeot before winning with Ford upon its return to Le Mans in 2016.
Gounon made his Le Mans debut with the Risi squad in 2019 and is also a Bentley factory driver. The son of ex-F1 driver and Le Mans class winner Jean-Marc Gounon, Jules has previously won the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with Audi and most recently took the overall victory at the 2020 Twelve Hours of Bathurst.
“We were happy to receive the acceptance of our entry for Le Mans once again this year as you can never take this for granted,” said Team Principal Giuseppe Risi. “The world got a little crazy in March so we just sat back and waited to see what would happen. Le Mans is a very important race in the world and the biggest in sports car racing. Although some other teams have pulled out this year, we intend to race as planned.
Our all-French driver line-up might be a little unexpected for my Risi team, but these are all talented drivers who have proven their worth at Le Mans and elsewhere in racing. Olivier Pla and Sébastien Bourdais drove against our team in the past few years and they both have strong history at Le Mans and a great knowledge of the circuit. Olivier is a strong and strategic driver. Le Mans is Sébastien’s hometown; he knows the track so well and has had success with past teams. Jules did a good job last year for us, so he was invited back to drive again alongside his fellow Frenchmen. Le Mans is always a very special race for our team and this year is no exception.”