The DragonSpeed endurance sportscar team has bolstered its 2021 challenge in the LMP2 Pro/Am class of the FIA World Endurance Championship and ACO European Le Mans Series with the return of Flex-Box as a team partner and the signing of American ace Gustavo Menezes as its guest driver for the Red Bull Ring round of the ELMS on 16 May. The US-flagged, Barcelona-based outfit’s regular WEC pilots Henrik Hedman, Ben Hanley, and Juan Pablo Montoya head into next week’s WEC season prologue at Spa-Francorchamps among the favourites in the new Pro/Am category for Bronze-ranked gentlemen drivers supported by top-line pro talent.
Gustavo Menezes said, “I’m extremely excited to rejoin DragonSpeed for the next ELMS race. After taking victory on track at Sebring last year with Henrik only to lose the win over a 1.3 second drive time deficit, we have some unfinished business. With Ben such a strong competitor, I’m also looking forward to driving alongside him for the first time. Elton is a great friend and I feel completely at home in the team, so when I got the call there was no doubt I’d be there. The ELMS is incredibly competitive this year, which only adds to the attraction.”
DragonSpeed team principal Elton Julian said, “I’m super pleased to have Gustavo join us at Red Bull Ring next month. He was stunning for us at Sebring last year and anyone can see why he’s been selected for Peugeot’s LMH squad. I’m sure he’ll help us overcome last weekend’s disappointment at Barcelona, where Salih Yoluc’s irresponsible driving under the Safety Car took us out early on and prevented us capitalising on our excellent pace and preparation.”
“It was also a real shame for our guest driver Ricky Taylor, who performed brilliantly for us all through the prologue and practice, seamlessly integrating into the team and contributing immediately to our car set-up. He showed all the attributes you’d expect of the seasoned sportscar champion he is, and I’m happy to say he’ll be back for another go when circumstances allow.”
Julian added, “In Barcelona, we saw a clear breakaway from the LMP2 peloton by a handful of teams with that little bit of extra speed, and we’re glad to be in that group. It will be hard work to stay with them this season, but our regular pro driver roster of Ben and Juan in the WEC plus our ELMS guest stars should help bridge the sudden gap between the super-funded teams and the rest of us.”
Flex-Box’s confirmation that it will continue as a DragonSpeed sponsor reinforces the team’s momentum going into Spa. The Hong Kong-based global custom shipping container specialists’ distinctive blue and orange logo will adorn the tailfin and nose of the number 21 car for the remainder of DragonSpeed’s 2021 WEC and ELMS schedule in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
“I am very proud to welcome back Flex-Box as a DragonSpeed sponsor. This is our second year with them and, following our Rolex 24 success together in 2020, we now look forward to delivering for them on- and off-track over the rest of this season. Sincere thanks to Henrik Nielsen of Flex-Box for his continuing confidence and support.”