Lapierre rejoins Le Mans LMP2 victor KCMG for Austin WEC round

Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 winner Nicolas Lapierre will return to the KCMG line-up at the Austin round of the World Endurance Championship later this month

Lapierre rejoins Le Mans LMP2 victor KCMG for Austin WEC round

Chinese entrant KCMG has decided to alter its plans and bring the Frenchman back to race the ORECA-Nissan 05 in place of Nick Tandy, who will be driving his GT Le Mans class factory Porsche in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship on the morning of the WEC round on September 19.

The move means that KCMG will reprise the line-up of former Toyota LMP1 driver Lapierre, Richard Bradley and Matt Howson that took P2 honours at Le Mans in June, while Tandy was winning the race overall for Porsche.

KCMG engineer Greg Wheeler told AUTOSPORT: "It is only because it is Austin, where it can be very hot and humid - we thought it was safer to have a fresh driver when cockpit temperatures can go up to 37C.

"Any other track, and I think we would be fine, but Austin is a hard race because of the temperatures and the taxing nature of the circuit."

Wheeler added that KCMG "didn't want to take any chances" in its bid for the LMP2 WEC title after extending its points lead with a second class win of the season at the Nurburgring last month.

"We can see the light at the end of the tunnel," he explained.

"There might be a strategic situation where we have to triple stint a driver and we'd want a fresh driver to do that."

Tandy, who shares his CORE-run Porsche 911 RSR with GTLM points leader Patrick Pilet in Austin, is scheduled to return to KCMG's ORECA coupe for the three remaining WEC rounds after Austin.

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