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The 87th edition of the prestigious endurance race, 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be held on 15 and 16th June 2019. 21-year-old Arjun Maini will be the third Indian racing driver to participate in what is regarded as one of the most iconic and legendary events in motorsports history. Before Arjun Maini, Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok had raced in the Le Mans back in 2009 and 2012-15, respectively.
Arjun Maini will be racing for RLR MSport with the team's Oreca 07 LMP2 racing car, in the European Le Mans Series. He was initially supposed to be accompanied by co-drivers John Farano (Canada) and Bruno Senna (Brazil).
However, due to existing commitments with Rebellion Racing (LMP1 team), Bruno will not be racing with RLR MSport and will be replaced in the days to come. As you would've probably guessed, Bruno Senna is related to the late Formula One driver, Ayrton Senna.
Prior to joining RLR Msport, Arjun Maini competed in various single-seater championships in India and around the world, since the age of 15. He came 2nd in the British F4 championship in 2014 and has also participated in the 2018 GP3 race.
In addition to this, Arjun Maini is the first Indian to win and record the fastest lap at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and achieve a podium finish at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit.
Speaking about his debut in the Le Mans, Arjun Maini shared, "I'm extremely excited to make my endurance racing debut this year in the European Le Mans Series. The highlight of the year will surely be the race at Le Mans and I'm hoping I can do my country proud as it is one of the most prestigious events in motor racing."
"It is imperative for anyone to succeed to be backed by a strong team and I think the team at RLR MSport will provide the perfect environment for me to perform at my very best, especially considering I will be racing in a category I have no prior experience in. Given that they are the reigning ELMS LMP3 Champions, the expectations for the 2019 season will be quite high and I'm looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead," he further added.
Le Mans 24 Hours 2019 also marks the return of RLR MSport to European Le Mans Series after a considerable period of time. On this occasion, Nick Reynold, the Team Director of RLR MSport said, "RLR MSport's return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the European Le Mans Series' headlining LMP2 class is an important milestone for the team and we feel it's absolutely imperative to maximise our chances of achieving great results by recruiting the best drivers. Arjun Maini has shown a great deal of innate speed during his illustrious single-seater career and his talent is unquestionable. I'm certain his transition to prototypes will be a successful one and that he will give a positive contribution to RLR MSport's 2019 programme at Le Mans and throughout the European Le Mans season."
Thoughts On Arjun Maini Racing In The 24 Hours Of Le Mans 2019
This is a proud moment for all Indian motorsport enthusiasts. Even though India's motorsport scene is still at an infant stage compared to that of foreign countries, it has seen significant progress in the past decade. Through candidates like Arjun Maini, the world will surely recognise the presence of talented Indians in the field of motorsports.