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Acura IMSA stars’ simultaneous Le Mans returns a “coincidence”

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The Meyer Shank Racing driver within the IMSA SportsCar Championship’s GTP division has joined LMP2 squad Algarve Professional Racing to make his first Le Mans look since he completed second within the GT2 class in 2007.

Braun will line up ninth within the pro-am ORECA-Gibson 07 he shares with James Allen and bronze George Kurtz, who Braun has spent a decade teaching since his first foray in Radicals.

Fellow Honda Efficiency Improvement driver Pagenaud, who joined MSR to win Daytona in every of the final two seasons, can be making his Le Mans return at LMP2 squad Cool Racing – having been absent since he completed second with Peugeot in 2011 – as a consequence of scheduling clashes with IndyCar.

Consequently, Acura has the majority of its GTP driver roster current at Le Mans, with MSR drivers Braun and Pagenaud joined by Tom Blomqvist (United Autosports) plus Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti trio Ricky Taylor (TDS Racing), Filipe Albuquerque (United) and Louis Deletraz (WRT).

Nonetheless, with Acura and mother or father model Honda but to commit its GTP programme to Le Mans, Braun says his long-awaited return owes extra to coincidence than any sign of intent from HPD.

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“I don’t actually know too many particulars on all people else’s programmes, however actually for me, coincidence I suppose that all of it strains up with the others being right here as properly,” he instructed Autosport.

“My relationship with George is the rationale I’m on this programme, so it’s nice to be part of it and hopefully step one of many.”


Pagenaud defined that he concluded his deal shortly with Cool boss Nicolas Lapierre at Daytona when he discovered there was a emptiness within the group’s Le Mans line-up, ensuing from its European Le Mans Collection common Jose Maria Lopez being already dedicated to Toyota.

Reflecting on his lengthy Le Mans hiatus following his maiden outing as an 18-year-old in a Risi Competizione Ferrari, Braun mentioned he “looks like a rookie once more in a method”.

“I barely bear in mind loads about it,” the 34-year-old mentioned. “Numerous the little particulars and quite a lot of nuances are form of gone I suppose, and being in a unique class clearly and having a lot expertise since then to now, it’s all a bit totally different.

“Clearly this one being the one centesimal, all the things is greater and extra followers and extra all the things, so I feel it’s just a little bit onerous to match this to the conventional yr that I did in 2007.

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“However actually all the things has developed, all the things is a little more simply elevated I might say.

“After I did it in 2007 I used to be clearly on the younger facet and doubtless didn’t admire all of the little issues that this race means, so [it is] neat to have the ability to come again with a bit extra perspective, a bit extra maturity and be capable to admire what this race is about.”

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