Following her promising Asian Le Mans Series campaign, Belén García will continue her endurance racing journey and switches to the Michelin Le Mans Cup with 360 Racing in LMP3.
Following very promising outings in LMP3 machinery towards the end of 2022, when she entered the Michelin Le Mans Cup finale at Portimao and the Ultimate Cup final round at Le Castellet, Belén García started her first full time season in endurance racing in 2023, showing brilliant pace and fast adaptability to the Ligier JS P320 in Asian Le Mans Series.
The two-weekend back to back championship proved that García has what it takes to fight for podium positions in the new chapter of her motor racing career and she will therefore return to the Michelin Le Mans Cup for a full campaign in 2023, competing for British team 360 Racing.
The Catalan's progression since her prototype one-off debut last October in Le Mans Cup has been impressive and she is determined to continue the positive trajectory:
“I feel, above all, happy to have an endurance program, which was my main objective", said Belén. "I arrive to the Michelin Le Mans Cup determined to apply the many lessons I have learned from the Asian Le Mans Series, and I hope to be competitive in a very demanding series that visits six top-level circuits.”
Having competed in Spanish F4 before being selected for the all-female W Series championship - and with appearances in Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine - García decided to step away from single-seaters at the end of last season.
“It is true that I had options to be on the F1 Academy grid, but I think that is no longer my place" - explained the Spaniard, mentioning the new F4-based all female series that will be launched in 2023. "That championship is a great launching pad for younger girls starting out in motorsport, as highlighted by the fact that it is held with F4 single-seaters."
"But I already competed with those cars in 2019, and I think I have passed that phase. So, without a doubt, continuing in endurance racing will contribute much more to my sporting career”.
In the 2023 Michelin Le Mans Cup, Belén will share the Ligier JS P320 with British bronze-rated Mark Richards, 37. Already with knowledge of the car - the same she drove in all her LMP3 outings - García will have support of the 360 Racing outfit, a team with prototype experience in European Le Mans Series as well as in Radical Cup.
“The Michelin Le Mans Cup stands out for its competitiveness, as it brings together a high number of cars and high-level professional drivers", continued the RACC-supported driver. "Throughout this season we will visit circuits where I already have experience with an LMP3, such as Portimão or Paul Ricard, which I hope will be of great help."
"However, I have a month marked in red on my calendar, June, when we will hold two races at the Le Mans circuit. Being able to compete at the mecca of endurance makes me very excited” - García said.
The 2023 Michelin Le Mans Cup will in fact host 7 races - five 1h and 50 minute contests plus two 55 minute races as support of the 24 hours of Le Mans at the legendary French circuit.
The season opener will be on home soil, at Circuit de Catalunya, on 22 April.
The Italian round at Imola will follow on May 6th, before the June 8-9 double header at Le Mans. Belén's lucky charm circuit of Le Castellet - where she won her second ever race in prototypes, in the Ultimate Cup last November - will host the fourth round on July 15th.
Spa Francorchamps and Portimao will round out the season on 23 September and 22 October respectively.
Collective testing will be held at Barcelona, on April 18th.
2023 Michelin Le Mans Cup calendar
R1 - Barcelona, Spain / 22 April
R2 - Imola, Italy / 6 May
R3 - Le Mans, France / 8-9 June
R4 - Le Castellet, France / 15 July
R5 - Spa Francorchamps, Belgium / 23 September
R6 - Portimao, Portugal / 22 October