Le Mans: Stefan Johansson to race full-time in WEC

Le Mans: Stefan Johansson to race full-time in WEC

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Le Mans: Stefan Johansson to race full-time in WEC

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Former Le Mans 24 Hours winner Stefan Johansson will return full-time to the cockpit in the 2014 World Endurance Championship at the age of 57.

The Swede, who raced for Ferrari and McLaren in Formula 1, has had his place with the Millennium Racing LMP2 squad confirmed after the Delta-ADR-run operation received two entries for the WEC on Thursday.

It will be the first time that Johansson has contested a full season since his assault on the 2007 American Le Mans Series with the Highcroft Racing HPD squad.

 “I’ve been dabbling for the past few years, but I suddenly realized that I haven’t done a proper program since 2007,” said Johansson. “I’m really excited about this and I can’t wait to get back in the groove.

“If you had told me when I was young that I would still be racing at 57, I wouldn’t have believed you, but as you become older you realize what is important to you. Racing is a way of life that I enjoy.”

Johansson will be the silver-rated driver in the second Millennium entry alongside team returnees Mike Conway and Shinji Nakano. He has links with Delta-ADR courtesy his participation in the Grand Prix Masters series in 2005-’06 and with Millennium through Fabien Giroix, for whose Gulf Racing Middle East P2 team he was entered in three rounds of 2012 WEC.

Conway is returning to the Silverstone-based team despite becoming Toyota’s test and reserve driver for 2014.

Dowson said: “It is good that Mike has decided to keep working with us despite all his other commitments [which include an IndyCar road course program with Ed Carpenter Racing]. We regard it as a bit of a coup.”

It appears likely that Conway will miss at least one race with Millennium to drive for Toyota when Kazuki Nakajima is racing in Super Formula in Japan. The first Millennium car will be shared by Delta-ADR regular John Martin, European Le Mans Series stand-out driver Oliver Turvey and Giroix, who is part of the Millennium Development investment group.

Turvey, who notched up four poles in the 2013 ELMS with the Jota Zytek squad, joins Millennium after a successful tryout with the team in Bahrain in January.

“After last year, I wanted to step up to the WEC and I’m really excited to be with Millennium,” said the McLaren Formula 1 development driver. “It has a really strong engineering setup, and if we all work well together, we should be in with a good chance.”

This article originally appeared on www.autosport.com

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