Belén García continues her ascent of the endurance racing pyramid. A revelation this season in the Asian Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup, the 24-year-old Spanish driver will move up next year as she joins the European Le Mans Series with LMP3 category reference DKR Engineering.
A winner in single-seater racing, Belén García gave a new impetus to her career last year when she entered the ultra-competitive world of endurance racing. The hard-working native of L’Ametlla del Vallès quickly impressed with her first podium in the Ultimate Cup Series before continuing her progression in the Asian Le Mans Series and the Michelin Le Mans Cup.
Belén García showed impressive potential and improved with each race. She was a member of the only crew to score three consecutive top-five finishes in the Michelin Le Mans Cup. Tenth in the final general classification, the Catalan was the second-best points scorer in the back half of the season. These performances didn’t go unnoticed and piqued the interest of several top teams in the higher echelons of the sport.
Only one day after her first full campaign, Belén García returned to the track in the DKR Engineering Duqueine M30 – D08 at the Portimão rookie tests. The Spaniard and Luxembourg team quickly found their marks during this productive day, which ended with the best time in LMP3 before they agreed to continue the adventure together in endurance’s flagship series in Europe for the 2024 season.
« I am very happy to confirm that I will race in the European Le Mans Series in 2024”, says Belén, who has also joined the ranks of the Synergy Driver Performance management scheme. « I want to compete with the best in our sport. This is the right step towards this goal. I’m pleased to do it with DKR Engineering. I was thrilled to do the rookie tests with them as they have such a strong reputation, winning Road to Le Mans three times, but also many titles in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, Asian Le Mans Series as well as in the European Le Mans Series LMP3 category back in 2021. We had a terrific day together. I really felt welcome, it was like entering a family. They really know what they are doing. The car felt really good, and I could really push straight away. The Duqueine is a different car from the Ligier, so I had to adapt a bit as I only raced one weekend with this manufacturer before, but I got comfortable quite fast, which is always a very good thing. It bodes well for the future, and I can’t wait to work again with them to prepare for next season. »
« We are all super happy at DKR to sign Belén », adds Kendy Janclaes, DKR Engineering Team Owner. « She has already tested with us in Portimão during the rookie test where she finished first and, most importantly, she not only showed good pace but a very professional approach towards her racing. We have solid plans, and they’re already being implemented in our team to make sure we give her the best possibility that she deserves in order to shine next year. She’s going to be the first woman that drives for DKR and that is also something very exciting for all of us as well! »
While Belén García is no stranger to the LMP3 category, the European Le Mans Series will be more competitive, with a more experienced field of competitors and longer races, four hours compared to 110 minutes in the Michelin Le Mans Cup this season. Despite these changes, the driver supported by the RACC Mobility Club and the Centre d’Alt Rendiment de Sant Cugat del Vallès is fully prepared for the challenges ahead.
« I am very competitive and always ready to fight », says Belén. « I have no specific expectations. It’s all about competing, fighting and focusing on the work you have to do to get good results. I want to capitalize on everything I have learned so far in Endurance and I am really excited for that step up next season. I know the LMP3 category and have always wanted to race in the four-hour format. As usual, the target will be to win. Even if I know some teams will enter extremely solid line-ups, I feel strong and always want to be the best driver in the field. Of course, it will not be easy, but you have to work hard and focus on the win when you’re racing, so that will be my aim! »
The calendar will consist of six races across Europe. Belén García will kick off the season on home soil at the 4 Hours of Barcelona before heading to Circuit Paul Ricard and the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola. After the summer break, the crews will be back on track at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and Mugello before the season finale at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão. A programme that the student in telematics engineering at La Salle Campus Barcelona looks forward to!
« I am always looking forward to racing at home, and once again, the season-opener will be in Barcelona, so I’m excited for that weekend as it’s always a special one », concludes Belén. « I also can’t wait to go back to Spa and Imola. I raced there in the FRECA and enjoyed this historical track quite a bit, so I’m intrigued to see what Endurance racing feels like there with these prototypes. I also want to thank all my partners as well as Duarte Félix da Costa and Rodrigo Loyo from the Synergy Driver Performance structure as they all contributed to put this great programme together for me in 2024. Let’s go! »