top of page
  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Belén García steps up to ELMS in DKR LMP3 entry

Having raced in Le Mans Cup in her first full-season in endurance racing, Belén García announced she will step up to the flagship series European Le Mans Series in 2024, as she joins DKR Engineering in the LMP3 class after topping the rookie test at Portimao in the team's Duqueine D08.

Belén García, DKR Engineering, 2024 ELMS
Photo credits: JEP

Having just completed her first full season in endurance racing, young Catalan racer Belén García continues to make leaps forward towards her goal of racing at the highest levels of sports car racing.

García, 24, made the switch from single seaters to prototypes towards the end of the 2022 season, when she contested the final round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup at Portimao - and then took her first win in LMP3 machinery at only her second start, at the Ultimate Cup season finale at Circuit Paul Ricard. With the aim of quickly progressing through the ranks of Le Mans Prototypes, García then entered the back-to-back rounds of Asian Le Mans Series last winter - which saw the Spaniard clearly showing big potential and great pace, although results were eventually influenced by bad luck.

Entering her first full-season campaign in Le Mans Cup, García improved at each race and, although a few circumstances outside of her control hampered her first half of the season, in the second part of the championship she consistently battled in the front pack, eventually scoring three consecutive top five finishes. She was part of the only crew able to do so - and was the second top-scorer in the second half of the season.

Her performance showed that Belén had learned the platform and has what it takes to climb the ladder of endurance racing - in the crucial moment of a booming interest in the sport.

García took part in the post-season rookie test with DKR Engineering at Portimao - and the driver soon found herself at home in the Luxembourg-based squad, which runs a Duqueine M30 - D08 - Nissan instead of the Ligier JS P320 that she had previously raced.

"We had a terrific day together. I really felt welcome, it was like entering a family. They really know what they are doing. The car felt really good, and I could really push straight away", she commented. "The Duqueine is a different car from the Ligier, so I had to adapt a bit as I only raced one weekend with this manufacturer before, but I got comfortable quite fast, which is always a very good thing."

Belén had in fact raced the Duqueine machine in a one-off in the Prototype Cup Germany series, where she claimed a second place at debut at the tricky Norisring.

Aboard the DKR-operated LMP3, García topped the ELMS rookie test session in Portugal, before an agreement was reached for the 2024 European Le Mans Series campaign.

Belén García, DKR Engineering, 2024 ELMS
Photo courtesy: Belén García

"I am very happy to confirm that I will race in the European Le Mans Series in 2024”, Belén said. “I want to compete with the best in our sport. This is the right step towards this goal. I’m pleased to do it with DKR Engineering."

"I was thrilled to do the rookie tests with them as they have such a strong reputation, winning Road to Le Mans three times, but also many titles in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, Asian Le Mans Series as well as in the European Le Mans Series LMP3 category back in 2021."

In one of the most competitive ELMS fields ever since the expansion of the LMP2 category, the series will feature a 43-car grid, including 10 LMP3 cars from some of the biggest operations in endurance racing. While it will be a good step forward for García, the Catalan is ready to take on her biggest challenges yet.

“We are all super happy at DKR to sign Belén”, DKR Engineering Team Owner Kendy Janclaes stated. “She has already tested with us in Portimão during the rookie test where she finished first and, most importantly, she not only showed good pace but a very professional approach towards her racing."

"We have solid plans, and they’re already being implemented in our team to make sure we give her the best possibility that she deserves in order to shine next year. She’s going to be the first woman that drives for DKR and that is also something very exciting for all of us as well!”

She is the first driver to be announced aboard the #4 car, with teammates yet to be announced.

"I am very competitive and always ready to fight”, Belén said. “I have no specific expectations. It’s all about competing, fighting and focusing on the work you have to do to get good results. I want to capitalize on everything I have learned so far in Endurance and I am really excited for that step up next season."

"I know the LMP3 category and have always wanted to race in the four-hour format", she continued, as she makes the step up from the 2 hour to the 4 hour format in ELMS.

"As usual, the target will be to win. Even if I know some teams will enter extremely solid line-ups, I feel strong and always want to be the best driver in the field. Of course, it will not be easy, but you have to work hard and focus on the win when you’re racing, so that will be my aim!”

The European Le Mans Series calendar will consist of 6 races - with the season opener scheduled for 13-14 April on Belén's home track at Montmelo, Circuit de Catalunya.

The series will then visit Imola, Spa Francorchamps, Mugello and Portimão, which will round out the 2024 season on 19 October.



bottom of page