Spanish driver to race at the wheel of a Ligier JS P320 LMP3 put together by the British 360 Racing team, driving alongside London’s Mark Richards – Series to commence on 22nd April at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, also including no fewer than six two-hour events and a pair of double-header 55-minute races on the legendary Le Mans circuit in France – “Above all, I’m very pleased to have an endurance programme up and running. I’ll get into the Michelin Le Mans Cup determined to put to best use the experience I’ve accrued during my time in the Asian Le Mans Series. I hope to be competitive in what is a very demanding series which takes in some top-level circuits.” – “One of my calendar highlights this year will be June, as that’s when we are to have two races at Le Mans. I’m very excited about this whole project.” Tuesday 21st March 2023
Belén García is all set to participate in the 2023 edition of the Michelin Le Mans Cup aboard a Ligier in the LMP3 category, put together by Britain’s 360 Racing team. The driver from l’Ametlla de Vallès on the outskirts of Barcelona thus reinforces her ambitions to be part of the world of endurance racing into which she entered last October with some brilliant performances in the Asian Le Mans Series. The Michelin Le Mans Cup, in which Belén first raced in October with some long-distance events at Portimao in Portugal, will be at the forefront of her sporting plans for 2023. Her progress since debuting has been impressive, whether that be celebrating victory at Paul Ricard in the Ultimate Cup of 2022 or fighting amongst the top few positions in the Asian Le Mans Series earlier this season. However, the next step for the RACC-supported driver brings a somewhat unprecedented challenge.
“Above all, I’m very pleased to have an endurance programme up and running,” Belén says. “That was always my main objective. I’ll get into the Michelin Le Mans Cup determined to put to best use the experience I’ve accrued during my time in the Asian Le Mans Series. I hope to be competitive in what is a very demanding series which takes in some top-level circuits.”
There has been a dilemma for Belén in recent times: return to single-seaters or focus on endurance racing? It’s something she is very clear about.
“It’s true that I’ve had options to be on the grid as part of the F1 Academy but I don’t feel that’s my place anymore. That championship is a great launching pad for younger girls starting out in motorsport, not least as they race F4 machinery. However, I’ve already competed in a car like that, back in 2019, and I think I’ve moved on since then. So, no doubt about it, carrying on in endurance racing will be much better for my career progression.” García knows the Ligier JS P320 well but there’s a change of team for the upcoming events. Joining the British 360 Racing outfit means Belén will be thrust into an environment of plentiful experience in both the European Le Mans Series and the Radical Masters category. Another key factor will be learning from her team-mate, 37-year-old Mark Richards from London, who holds a Bronze FIA licence. “The Michelin Le Mans Cup really stands out thanks chiefly to its level of competitiveness,” Belén continues. “There are so many cars involved, each driven by very professional drivers.
Across the season we’ll visit circuits on which I already have LMP3 experience such as Portimao and Paul Ricard, so I hope that will help. One of my calendar highlights this year will be June, as that’s when we are to have two races at Le Mans. I’m very excited about this whole project.”
The calendar for the 2023 Michelin Le Mans Cup will open on Tuesday 18th April at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in north-eastern Spain. Earlier in the week, the same venue will have staged collective test sessions ahead of the opening two-hour race event on the Saturday. Just 15 days later, legendary Imola in Italy will stage the second race which is also to last for two hours. The format will alter on 8-9th June when that Thursday and Friday host a couple of 55-minute races at equally historic Le Mans. More incredible venues will be visited as the season goes on with Paul Ricard (15th July), Spa-Francorchamps (23rd September) and Portimao (22nd October) all taking turns to host races and complete the championship campaign.