Murphy Prototypes’ LMP3 driver line-up for Imola
Endurance racing team Murphy Prototypes will continue its European Le Mans Series LMP3 programme this weekend, when it enters round two – the 4-hours of Imola – with a different car and different driver line-up from that of last month’s round one at Silverstone.
Having confirmed the line-up for its LMP2 car for Imola earlier this week, the team is pleased to announce the following drivers for its LMP3 entry:
Barrie Baxter (GBR): Canadian-born and now living in the Channel Islands, 56-year old Barrie Baxter is a highly experienced driver who started his motor racing career on bikes until moving to cars in the late 1990s. He has since competed in a wide range of historic and contemporary sportscars and is punctuating his season in the 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup GB with his first ELMS race at Imola this weekend.
Alex Kapadia (GBR): No stranger to Murphy Prototypes, 35-year old Alex Kapadia from Tring in Hertfordshire drove for the team in 2014 and showed his pace in the team’s LMP2 Oreca 03R Nissan in the opening round of that year. The former Radical European Champion has gone on to become a professional driver coach, having recently contested rounds of the World Endurance Championship, the Asian Le Mans and 24-Hours Series’ as well as competing at Bathurst and Le Mans.
Rob Garofall (GBR): 44-year old Rob Garofall from Luton will be looking to repeat his past performance at Imola, when he won last year’s ELMS LMP3 category, adding to his third place at Silverstone one month earlier. Also a British GT competitor and driver coach, he brings a wealth of sportscar racing experience with him.
Murphy Prototypes’ 2016 LMP3 programme is centered around the all-new Ave-Riley AR-2 that is currently undergoing homologation inspection and test procedures in the USA. The car is expected to be available for the third round of the ELMS – the 4-Hours of Red Bull Ring – that takes place on 17th July.
In the meantime, the team is using alternative cars and, whilst at Silverstone it fielded a Ginetta, it will be a Nissan-engined Ligier JS P3 that carries the distinctive green and yellow Murphy Prototypes, 3-Dimensional.com, Ave-Riley livery at Imola.
The stateside test and development work has meant that, because they are personally involved with the project, the drivers that are due to campaign the Ave-Riley when it takes to the track – Tony Ave and Doug Peterson – are also unavailable for this weekend’s race.
“I’m delighted that Barrie, Alex and Rob are joining us at Imola”, said team principal Greg Murphy. “I’m also pleased that we will have a Ligier too, which puts us on a level playing field with the other LMP3 teams that all have the same machinery. The combination of a state-of-the-art car and a great driver line up means that we have a real chance of a top result and a podium position.”
The action at Imola begins on Friday 13th May with 90-minutes of Free Practice in the afternoon, followed by another 90-minutes on Saturday morning. The 10-minute LMP3 qualifying session starts at 14.10, with the four-hour race scheduled to get the green light at 14.00 on Sunday. All times are CEST.