Kuwait teenager Haytham Qarajouli and Austrian young gun Horst Felix Felbermayr are set to step onto RLR MSport’s stairway of talent at ground level in the 2022 Ligier European Series.
RLR MSport will field multiple Ligier JS2 R sportscars in the burgeoning feeder series, which it will contest in tandem with its long-established Michelin Le Mans Cup and European Le Mans Series (ELMS) LMP3 campaigns.
At the age of 14, Qarajouli made his car racing debut in the 2019 Ginetta Junior Championship, in which he enjoyed top ten finishes after only his second meeting, before going on and score a brilliant pair of rookie class podium finishes at the world-famous Silverstone circuit.
Following a COVID-induced hiatus from motorsport in 2020, the young Kuwait driver stepped back onto the Ginetta ladder when he entered the 2021 GT5 Challenge, which supports the British GT and British Touring Car Championships.
However, he is revving up for his maiden season in the Ligier European Series as he continues pursuing a dream career in motor racing, in the footsteps of godfather Khaled Al Mudhaf, who remains the only Arab driver to race in the prototype classes of the ELMS.
“I’ve been very excited to be joining the Ligier European Series since testing the car in UK a few months back,” said Qarajouli. “I’m really looking forward to racing on the bigger circuits in Europe, as I have been aiming for endurance racing since I started competing, and I am very grateful to RLR MSport for putting together such an exciting opportunity that includes racing at the famous Le Mans circuit.
“I appreciate how challenging this season will be as a newcomer to the series and as the sole driver in the car, but I hope that, with my previous experience in the UK, I will be competitive and capable of aiming for the podium. I have increased my gym programme, working on my fitness for endurance racing. Also, I have completed a lot of testing over the past few months, including some long runs in the Ligier JS2 R, and a few weeks ago I made my endurance debut with a podium finish in the Fun Cup 4 Hours of Silverstone.”
Austria’s Horst Felix Felbermayr, meanwhile, comes to RLR MSport as a karting graduate who has honed his skills in an array of German and Italian categories, including the FIA European Championship, ADAC Kart Masters and WSK Super Masters Series.
Father Horst Junior Felbermayr is part of RLR MSport’s two-car ELMS LMP3 programme, following a single competitive appearance with the Motul-powered team in the 2021 Michelin Le Mans Cup’s Portimao finale.
Horst Felix hopes his father’s 25 years of experience in high-level endurance sportscar racing and RLR MSport’s engineering expertise will accelerate his development, but he remains pragmatic, saying: “I’m yet to drive the Ligier JS2 R, but I hope to test the car before the first race in Le Castellet, building on my experiences in Formula 4 single-seater tests and two races in a KTM X-Bow GT4.
“I hope to improve along with the RLR MSport team, and my aim for the season is to simply have fun and do my absolute best. I lean on my father quite a lot because he has been racing cars for many years, even competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I’m expecting the Ligier to be completely different to what I’ve driven before, but I’m hyped for the challenge and the prospect of racing at some very famous European circuits, including Le Mans.”