Team Virage is happy to announce its first entry for the 2021 European Le Mans Series campaign in LMP3, alongside its first full season entry in Michelin Le Mans Cup. Founded in 2018 by Philippe Gautheron and Julien Gerbi, Team Virage has established itself as one of the reference team in LMP3 with the Ligier JSP320, winning the Ultimate Cup Series championship in 2020.
For this ELMS campaign, Team Virage introduces a fully North-American line-up with Americans Rob Hodes and Charles Crews and Canadian Garett Grist. This experienced line-up has the advantage of having raced both in European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series together in the previous season, scoring one podium in ALMS and showing promising speed in ELMS. Rob Hodes and Garett Grist will complete a double program, also competing on the Team Virage car in Michelin Le Mans Cup.
Rob Hodes is the first Bronze driver of the line-up and started his LMP3 career in 2017 after having competed in Ferrari and Lamborghini series, winning a round of the Ferrari Challenge North America. Also Bronze ranked, Charles Crews had recently resumed racing after a decade-long hiatus, immediately scoring a podium for his return. Garett Grist, the youngest driver of the line-up and Silver ranked, has shown solid pace in LMP3 and LMP2 with several podiums under his belt, including an ALMS vice-champion title in 2019 and a 3rd place in the 2018 ELMS championship, scoring his maiden win at Silverstone.
Philippe Gautheron, Team Virage founder: “I am very proud to announce our first line-up for 2021, especially in the European Le Mans Series. Despite the current situation, 2020 has been a turning point for Team Virage and we aim to keep growing within the endurance ladder. With such an experienced line-up, I am convinced that we are able to be regular front-runners in the category with our Ligier JSP320. We are really looking forward to working with Rob, Garett and Charles !”
Rob Hodes : “What an adventure for 2021 ! It’s very exciting being part of a new team entering the series. I’m looking forward to the upcoming season with Virage. Philippe and Julien could not be more committed and supportive. Their vast experience and success in Motorsport is impressive. I’m sure I will learn much from them as we pursue this path with a focus toward victory !”
Garett Grist : “I’m happy to be joining Virage for 2021. Their pace was impressive at the select races they did last year. We got a chance to test with them after the season and really enjoyed it. Philippe and Julien have a lot of experience and work well together. I look forward to having the car upfront for them.”
Charles Crews : “I have to start by thanking Rob for entrusting me with a second season of ELMS, we all made great progress last year and feel we can build on that by keeping the continuity of the same driver lineup. I have known Julien for years and am thrilled to finally be working closely with him. During our recent test in Paul Ricard, Philippe and the Virage crew showed us just what they are capable of and how deeply they desire to perform. Needless to say, I am very excited to join them for what I expect to be a successful season.”
The 2021 European Le Mans Series season will start in Barcelona (Spain) in April and will consist of 6 races of 4 hours all over Europe until October in Portimão (Portugal).