Joao Paulo de Oliveira joins Lotus LMP2 for Le Mans test day
|By Gary Watkins||Sunday, June 9th 2013, 09:58 GMT|
Ex-Formula Nippon champion Joao Paulo de Oliveira will take part in today's Le Mans test day with the Lotus LMP2 squad as a first step towards contesting the 24 Hours.
The Super Formula (nee FNippon) and Super GT regular, who has not competed in Europe since winning the German Formula 3 Cup in 2003, explained that he has aspirations to race at Le Mans in the future.
"Le Mans is a race I have been thinking about for the past couple of years," the Brazilian told AUTOSPORT. "I'm certainly looking for an opportunity to race at Le Mans, although I have no deal for this year.
"I want to expand my horizons. I am doing this for future experience, to get my foot in the door and be ready for any opportunity that might come up."
De Oliveira, who races for the Hoshino Impul team in both Super Formula and Super GT in Japan, has links with the Lotus LMP2 through the it owners, the Kolles family, for whom he raced in German F3 in 2002.
It is planned that the 2010 Nippon champion will do 10 laps in the #31 Lotus-Praga T128 coupe today, which will get him on the approved list of drivers allowed to race at Le Mans.