Vergne joins G-Drive for 2018 ELMS campaign

Ex-Formula 1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne will combine his Formula E duties with a full European Le Mans Series assault with G-Drive Racing, it has been announced.

Vergne joins G-Drive for 2018 ELMS campaign
#22 G-Drive Racing, Oreca 07 - Gibson: Memo Rojas, Ryo Hirakawa, Leo Roussel
Race winner Jean-Eric Vergne, Techeetah
Jean-Eric Vergne, Techeetah
#40 Graff Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson: James Allen, Gustavo Yacaman, Richard Bradley
Norman Nato, Rapax
Henrique Chaves, AVF
#32 United Autosports Ligier LMP2, P: Will Owen, Hugo de Sadeleer, Bruno Senna, Paul di Resta

Vergne will campaign a TDS Racing-run Oreca 07 LMP2 alongside G-Drive team boss Roman Rusinov and TDS WEC regular Matthieu Vaxiviere in the six-round series, starting with April's Paul Ricard race.

The Frenchman, who leads the Formula E points standings after his victory in Santiago, is also expected to share the car with Rusinov in the Le Mans 24 Hours, pending the team's entry being granted by the ACO.

The announcement follows former Toro Rosso driver Vergne's move into sportscar racing last year with the Manor LMP2 squad in the WEC.

G-Drive will not race in the WEC full-time this season, instead opting to field two cars in the ELMS - one in partnership with TDS and one with Graff Racing.

A total of 17 LMP2 entries were announced by the ELMS on Monday as part of a 41-strong field that also features 18 LMP3s and six GTE cars.

Racing Engineering, which announced on Thursday it will not participate in Formula 2 this season, is one of the new additions on the entry list, with Norman Nato its only confirmed driver in its Oreca 07.

Another ex-single-seater squad, AVF, has so far named open-wheel regulars Henrique Chaves and Konstantin Tereschenko as drivers for its Dallara P217 for its first season in sportscars.

Despite returning to LMP1 in WEC this year, Rebellion Racing is staying involved in LMP2 in ELMS with an Oreca for Formula 3 convert Harrison Newey, Thomas Laurent and Richard Bradley, while DragonSpeed is likewise running Ben Hanley, Henrik Hedman and Nicolas Lapierre in an 07.

Ligier squads United Autosports and IDEC Sport have expanded to two cars for 2017, matching Graff's effort, while Panis-Barthez Competition (Ligier), Algarve Pro Racing (Ligier), SMP Racing (Dallara), Villorba Corse (Dallara) and High Class Racing (Dallara) all return with a single car each.

LMP3 graduate Duqueine Engineering completes the 17-strong LMP2 field with a sole Oreca.

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