Manor adds Ex-F3 racer Matt Rao to its WEC line-up in second car

Ex-British Formula 3 Championship frontrunner Matt Rao has joined the Manor LMP2 team's assault on the World Endurance Championship this year

The 21-year-old, who finished a close second in British F3 in 2014, will race the additional entry of a second ORECA-Nissan 05 coupe that Manor Motorsport announced last week.

Manor boss John Booth told Autosport: "Matt has a bright future and looked very promising in Formula Ford and F3 in Britain, although he didn't have a good season in European F3 last year."

Booth suggested that Rao could be one of the best silver-rated drivers in the WEC this year.

Rao, who tested open-top ORECAs for the Murphy, Morand and Signatech teams last year, added: "I'm really pleased to be a part of this exciting new challenge with Manor - I know that their experience and professionalism will deliver great results."

Booth said that he was close to finalising deals for team-mates for Rao in a car that will contest all the WEC rounds with the exception of the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

He said he hoped to announce one signing next week and the final driver the week after.

Rao will get his first taste of the ORECA coupe at the official WEC test at Paul Ricard on March 25-26.

Manor will run one car only at the test known as the 'prologue' courtesy of its late expansion to two cars.

Booth stressed that the second car would be ready for the opening round of the WEC at Silverstone on April 17.

"We will absolutely be at Silverstone: both cars are ready but engine supply has been the deciding factor for the prologue," he added.

The Manor ORECA that will contest all the WEC rounds this season will be raced by Will Stevens, James Jakes and Tor Graves.

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