Le Mans 24 Hours a long-held dream for Manor's Graeme Lowdon

Manor Motorsport sporting director Graeme Lowdon said the Le Mans 24 Hours had long been a passion after his team launched a World Endurance Championship campaign for 2016

Le Mans 24 Hours a long-held dream for Manor's Graeme Lowdon

Lowdon revealed he "had always been a fan" of Le Mans following confirmation that Manor will field an ORECA-Nissan 05 in the LMP2 class of this year's WEC.

Le Mans entry list headlined by four Fords and a Manor LMP2

"I first went to Le Mans in 1990 and was a regular for many years, so it will be great to finally go there with a team," he told Autosport.

He added that racing in the WEC would "provide a fantastic challenge" and that there "was a real buzz within the team at the moment".

He also revealed that he had been at Le Mans in 2009 when he heard the news that Manor's Formula 1 entry had been accepted for the following season.

Manor team principal and founder John Booth believes the WEC is an ideal showcase for his squad.

"The LMP2 class is specifically designed for teams independent of manufacturers and/or engine suppliers, which places the focus firmly on how the team performs," he said.

The first confirmed driver for Manor's WEC assault is Tor Graves, who was instrumental in the team's graduation to Formula 3 for the 1999 season.

Graves, 43, is returning to the WEC for the first time since 2013 when he ended a two-season stint with the Delta-ADR squad that yielded four P2 class victories.

Further drivers will be announced in due course, Lowdon explained.

The move into the P2 class of the WEC marks a return to the racetracks for the original incarnation of Manor after a year's hiatus following its withdrawal from GP3 at the end of 2014.

Manor Motorsport no longer has any connection with the Manor Racing grand prix squad after Booth and Lowdon's resignation from their management roles with the F1 team late last season.

A new subsidiary company called Manor Endurance Racing has been set up to run the P2 programme, but the team's entry has been made solely in the name of Manor.

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