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Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans

Buret joins Panis-Barthez for Le Mans, ELMS

Pro Mazda race winner Timothe Buret will race alongside retired football superstar Fabien Barthez in the European Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2016.

Timothe Buret
Timothe Buret, Pro Mazda race winner at Indianapolis
Timothe Buret, Juncos Racing
Fabien Barthez
Fabien Barthez
Simon Gachet, Panis-Barthez Competition Ligier JSP3

Buret, 20, is a junior driver for LMP1 privateer team Rebellion Racing and makes the full-time switch to endurance racing after taking fifth in Pro Mazda in 2015, with a victory at Indianapolis.

The Frenchman has prior experience in prototype racing, having been runned-up in the national VdeV Challenge Endurance Proto series in 2014.

"I’ve always liked endurance racing," Buret said. "I’ve already experienced sharing a seat [with another driver] in VdeV and I really liked this way of working.

"To be alongside Fabien Barthez is a great opportunity to combine our skills. I can’t wait to fly the Panis-Barthez Competition colours and to be in the spotlight this season and at the Le Mans 24 Hours."

Buret will pilot the #23 Ligier JS P2 - Nissan in the LMP2 class of the Le Mans 24 Hours and the six-round European Le Mans Series.

He will race alongside team co-owner Barthez, who, as a football goalkeeper, won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship with the French national team.

"It’s very satisfying to have Timothe with us," Barthez said. "We identified straight away that he has a good education and a lot of values. He’s a very appealing young man."

The team will announce a third driver for the line-up at a later date.

Single-seater duo for LMP3

The team co-owned by Barthez and ex-F1 driver Olivier Panis has also previously confirmed its line-up for the LMP3 class of the ELMS series.

Former French GT champion Eric Debard will be joined by two single-seater converts - Simon Gachet, who has recently raced in two-litre Formula Renault categories, and Valentin Moineault, who became the French F4 champion in 2015.

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