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Thomas Laurent lands IDEC Sport LMP2 drive

Laurent will join Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel aboard IDEC’s # 17 Oreca 07-Gibson as a last-minute replacement for Kyle Tilley, who suspended official testing on Sunday.

This is followed by Tilley, who lives in the United States, who is withdrawing from scheduled appearances at both the NASCAR Cup and the Xfinity events that took place on the Indianapolis street circuit last weekend.

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Laurent now faces his fifth start at Le Mans after being part of the line-up of Jackie Chan DC Racing, who finished second overall and first in the LMP2 class in 2017, before advancing to Rebellion in the top LMP1 division in 2018 and ’19 races, with another podium.

The Frenchman returned to the LMP2 ranks last year when he joined Signatech Alpine activities for the 2020 FIA World Endurance Championship campaign, but was left on the sidelines for 2021 when Alpine joined his grandfather Oreca LMP1 (formerly Rebellion) rose to the top class R-13).

In fact, the race this weekend will be Laurent’s first competitive outing of the year as he was not driven in either the WEC or the European Le Mans Series after being dismissed by Alpine.

The IDEC Sport # 48 car is driven by Paul Lafargue, Paul-Loup Chatin and Patrick Pilet.

During the test day, Chatin set the pace in the LMP2 class with a best time of 3.31.105 minutes and thus only marginally displaced Will Stevens’ second-fastest Panis Racing Oreca.

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