Run by the identical Signatech crew that’s behind Alpine’s Hypercar effort, Richard Mille moved as much as WEC’s LMP2 ranks this 12 months after competing within the European Le Mans Collection in 2020, retaining Sophia Floersch, Tatiana Calderon and Beitske Visser as its three drivers.
It was the second squad on the grid to race with an all-female crew together with Iron Lynx, which ran Rahel Frey and a rotating solid of second and third drivers in its Ferrari 488 within the GTE Am class.
Whereas the crew stays dedicated to rising the participation of feminine drivers on the prime echelon of endurance racing, Signatech boss Philippe Sinault mentioned he stays open to the potential of fielding a male driver at Richard Mille subsequent 12 months.
Working male drivers is nothing new for Richard Mille, which introduced on board ex-Jackie Chan DC Racing racer Gabriel Aubry for the Bahrain 6 Hours when Calderon was in Japan on account of clashing commitments in Tremendous Components. Andre Negrao additionally raced for the crew in ELMS final 12 months.
“We take into consideration perhaps an evolution [to our driver line-up],” Sinault instructed Autosport in Bahrain earlier this month.
“It isn’t completed but however we’ve got talked with [team owner] Richard concerning the spirit [of the team].
“The principle intention of this undertaking, the goal of the undertaking, is to show that ladies can win Le Mans. So we’re [open to] blended spots [between male and female drivers].
“In the present day we’ve got three ladies within the crew, perhaps some adjustments will occur, we do not know precisely but. However we predict lots about this.
“If tomorrow Ferrari or Audi wish to check a woman, it could be improbable. I choose if it’s with Alpine for positive. Our job is to coach ladies to be eligible for LMDh sooner or later and to win the race.”
#1 Richard Mille Racing Group Oreca 07 – Gibson LMP2, Tatiana Calderon, Sophia Floersch, Beitske Visser
Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images
Richard Mille is considered eager to no less than retain Calderon and Floersch for 2022 if it may possibly, however Floersch has been linked to a transfer elsewhere following her check for WRT within the Bahrain rookie check and one-off ELMS race look for Algarve Professional Racing in Portimao.
Two-time W Collection champion Jamie Chadwick and her title rival Alice Powell each had the prospect to drive the #1 Oreca within the post-season Bahrain rookie check.
Richard Mille completed ninth amongst 11 full-season groups in an expanded LMP2 class, bagging a finest end of sixth at each Portimao and the Bahrain 6 Hours within the six-round championship.
It is believed Signatech’s give attention to the Alpine LMP1 programme has left it struggling in an LMP2 subject that has changing into more and more aggressive for the reason that crew’s earlier title within the 2018/19 superseason, with the crew’s 2020 ELMS engineer being reassigned to the LMP1 automotive this 12 months.
A comparative lack of in-season testing can be considered one issue behind the crew’s failure to familiarize yourself with the now-spec Goodyear tyres, having used Michelin rubber within the ELMS final 12 months.