Former Aylesbury Grammar School pupil and current Pitstone resident, Alex Kapadia, will drive in this year’s Le Mans 24-Hour Race.
Kapadia will race for Team AAI in their number 67 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 997 in the LM GTE-Am class. The local racer will share driving duties with the Taiwanese team owner, Jun-san Chen and experienced Dutch pilot, Xavier Maassen.
Team AAI were handed their entry to the famous Le Mans 24-Hours by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest for winning the Asian Le Mans Series last season.
The team will also field a second Porsche in the LM GTE-Am class for Han-Chen Chen, Gilles Vannelet and Mike Parisy. The sister car to Kapadia’s entry will carry the number 68 for the race that takes place on June 13-14.
Kapadia has been a regular in sportscar events for a number of years, including many races in Radical sportscar events in Europe.
Last year the local racer was a member of the Murphy Prototypes team for the European Le Mans Series event at Silverstone, and attended the Le Mans 24-Hours as the team’s official reserve driver.
Kapadia was able to complete laps of the famous Circuit de la Sarthe during the pre-race test in Murphy’s LMP2 Oreca 03-Nissan and he now feels ready to make a challenge on the race itself.
Driving for Team AAI, this year will allow Kapadia to fulfil a lifelong ambition of competing in the Le Mans 24-Hours, a race that is regarded as one of the most famous motorsport events in the world.
Speaking this week, the 34-year-old said: “I am extremely grateful to Team AAI and Rudi Penders at Prospeed for giving me this opportunity. I have been trying for a number of years to secure a drive at Le Mans and am overjoyed to finally be on the grid.
“This is a great opportunity to gain experience in the unique challenges that Le Mans presents. The race has such a high-profile and I am just really pleased to finally be part of the Le Mans legend.”
Team manager Rudi Penders added: “We needed a quick silver rated driver to join the team and our line-up for Le Mans and Alex came highly recommended as a great talent who could do the job.
“He has a great approach and will fit in well with our team, and we are hoping we can race to a good result.”
The LM GTE-Am class is made up of 16 GT cars, and is the fourth category in the race after the LMP1 and LMP2 prototype classes and the lead LM GTE-Pro class for GT cars.
GTE-Am will be made up by a mixture of some of the world’s best GT racing machines, with Ferrari, Aston Martin, Chevrolet and SRT Viper joining Porsche on-track.
This will not be Kapadia’s first experience of 24-hour racing, having had a class win in the 2010 Dubai 24-Hours.
He added: “It’s been a while since I last raced a GT car, but I am keen to show what I can do in the Porsche which is completely different to the prototype I drove in 2014.
“I tested a GTE car with the Aston Martin factory team in March and it went very well. There are far more opportunities for professional drivers in GT than LMP2, and I am keen to develop as a GT driver to further my career.”
Kapadia will be in action at Le Mans on Sunday, May 31, when the Le Mans 24-Hours Pre-Test takes place.