RLR MSport will return to the Michelin Le Mans Cup in Barcelona (17 April), where it will run a sole Ligier JSP320 LMP3 for endurance sportscar racing debutant Tommy Foster and Mike Benham.
Foster, born and raised in Newquay, Cornwall, achieved English and British championship titles during an eight-year karting career but has since established himself as a race winner in junior single-seaters.
He accumulated a victory, two podium finishes and a pole position during his most recent season in the Formula 4 British Championship, before traversing the Atlantic for a one-off appearance in the Formula 1-supporting US F4 Championship at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
However, Foster took a hiatus from competitive motorsport in 2020, instead taking the opportunity to assess his future career options, and three speculative LMP3 tests prompted the 18-year-old to trade single-seaters for Le Mans Prototypes and join RLR MSport in the opening round of the 2021 Michelin Le Mans Cup.
“It will be so good to be back out racing, having been on the sidelines in 2020,” said Foster. “I completed three LMP3 test days, two of them with RLR MSport, and while I was a little wary at first because I had always been focused on single-seaters, I loved the LMP3 experience and I’m excited about taking this new path in my career.
“I struggled with the basics during the first day of testing – I’m not used to being sat to one side in a closed cockpit, and it was strange not being able to see the front tyres – but I got my head around it quickly and kept on building from there. In fact, sharing the track with GT and LMP2 cars gave me a flavour of multi-class racing and I know I’ll have a bit to learn when it comes to traffic management. However, you always have to aim high and I’ll be shooting for race victories in Barcelona.”
Last week (Tuesday 16 March), it was announced that Benham would team up with Malthe Jakobsen and Alex Kapadia for a full-season assault on the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) with RLR MSport.
But, in a move to maximise his track time, the British Bronze has added the supporting Michelin Le Mans Cup Barcelona Round to his programme, and he says: “I’ve been talking to Tommy (Foster) throughout the winter, and I’m delighted he has committed to go racing in the Michelin Le Mans Cup with RLR MSport. It was encouraging to see how quick Tommy was in testing and I believe we will have a great shot at achieving results on raw pace alone, but our chances of success are increased further by the series’ new penalty system for fast Bronze drivers. It should create a level playing field and provide opportunities for all the genuine Bronzes to really enjoy their racing, and I’m in no doubt that we’re on for wins.”