Sophia Floersch launches 2022 ELMS title assault with G-Drive
Sophia Floersch makes a return to European Le Mans Series as the young German racer joins G-Drive Racing, with the Russian squad aiming for the LMP2 title and a spot on the Le Mans field.
Sophia Floersch will return to the European Le Mans Series in 2022, the German racing driver announced on Monday. She will join G-Drive Racing, in a title assault to the ELMS title and a spot on the grid at the 24H of Le Mans.
Floersch, 21, is one of the most established female racing drivers worldwide and has combined double-programmes in the past two years, racing in FIA Formula 3 in 2020, also making her debut in endurance racing as part of the newly-founded Richard Mille Racing team - which brought to ELMS the first all-female crew in a prototype class. Floersch teamed up with Tatiana Calderon and Katherine Legge - who was then replaced by Beitske Visser when the Brit was injured in a testing accident. The team would move to the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2021 and competed in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. At their debut in 2020, Floersch claimed a top-10 at her debut in the legendary endurance classic at La Sarthe. Alongside her WEC campaign, the Munich-native made her debut in the popular German series DTM in 2021, as the championship entered its GT3 era. Despite the obvious learning curve, Floersch made huge improvements throughout the season and scored points both at Assen and at the season finale at Norisring, with two ninth places as best results among some of the best GT drivers in the world. She was the first woman to score points in DTM since Rahel Frey in 2012. Towards the end of the year, Floersch made a one-off return to ELMS, joining Algarve Pro Racing at Portimao. Alongside Ferdinand Habsburg and Richard Bradley, Floersch had a great run and secured her first podium finish in ELMS - the first ever for a woman in the top class of the series. She would further confirm her confidence with LMP2 machinery at the WEC post-season rookie test in Bahrain, where she topped the time-sheets in both sessions for Team WRT. With Richard Mille Racing moving away from an all-female team in 2022 - the Singatech-run outfit has in fact announced a mixed-line up featuring French up-and-coming talent Lilou Wadoux, Charles Milesi and WRC superstar Sebastien Ogier - Floersch evaluated several options for her 2022 season. She now finally announces her 2022 plans and joins top-team G-Drive Racing, which is set to be run under the technical partnership of Algarve Pro Racing. "I can finally tell you that I will be joining G-Drive Racing for the full ELMS season alongside two really strong team mates", Sophia wrote.
"It has been clear from the first conversation that the focus for the team is to win races and a championship and I’m going to work hard to try and help the team achieve this!"
"Obviously our goal is to also join the field in Le Mans and show our best there too. I seriously can’t wait to get started and take some trophies back home this year!" The Russian-led program G-Drive Racing has an outstanding record in LMP2 and endurance racing, both in WEC and ELMS - where the team amassed 3 titles and 10 race victories. Last year, the team finished 4th and 6th in the ELMS standings, with the #26 Aurus winning the 4H of Le Castellet. The #25 crew was crowned champion in the LMP2 Pro-Am class.
In 2022, G-Drive will also return to the World Endurance Championship, lining up the #26 Oreca 07 with James Allen, Rene Binder and former F1 racer Daniil Kvyat.
Sophia Floersch will share the #53 car with driver/team manager Roman Rusinov and Luca Ghiotto. The 2022 season will get underway at Circuit Paul Ricard in the South of France - firstly with the collective tests on 11-12 April that will precede the 4 Hours of Le Castellet on 17th April. ELMS will then visit 5 more top-European venues: Imola, Hungaroring, Barcelona, Spa Francorchamps and Portimao.