Archie Hamilton replaces Ben Collins in Ram Ferrari for Le Mans
|By Gary Watkins||Thursday, May 15th 2014, 11:04 GMT|
Archie Hamilton, grandson of 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Duncan, has replaced Ben Collins in the Ram Ferrari team's GTE Am line-up for the French enduro next month.
The 22-year-old, who will be racing at Le Mans for a second consecutive year, will share the GTE Am class Ram Racing Ferrari 458 Italia together with sportscar stalwart Johnny Mowlem and US amateur driver Mark Patterson.
Hamilton, who is racing full time in International GT Open this season, has joined Ram after the team was forced to miss this month's Spa World Endurance Championship round as a result of a budget shortfall.
Ram team principal Dan Shufflebottom told AUTOSPORT: "We always had quite a fluid agreement with Ben.
"We were in an undesirable situation with Spa and had to take steps to avoid that happening again.
"Archie, like Ben, is an excellent silver [-rated driver] and also brings a bit of budget."
The move follows the signing of Italian Federico Leo, who also brings finance to the team, to race Ram's GTE Pro class Ferrari alongside Alvaro Parente and Matt Griffin.
Hamilton said that he was "thrilled to be heading back to Le Mans again".
He contested last year's race in an G-Drive/Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 03 LMP2, but failed to finish after one of his team-mates crashed during the night.
The Briton will get his first taste of the Ram Ferrari during the team's shakedown at an undisclosed airfield ahead of the Le Mans test day on June 1.
Patterson, who was originally scheduled to contest four races with the team, will now undertake the remainder of the season.
It is unclear if Collins will return to the team for the final five-race leg of the WEC, which starts at Austin in September.