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Stoffel Vandoorne Joins MissionH24 Racing Team: New Hydrogen Prototype Coming Soon

By January 23, 2021 5   min read  (963 words)

January 23, 2021 |

fuel cells works, Stoffel Vandoorne, missionh24, hydrogen

Belgian driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, is joining MissionH24. Alongside Frenchman Norman Nato he will contribute to the performance development programme of the H24Racing team’s electric-hydrogen-powered prototypes.

MissionH24 has boosted its potential by taking on Stoffel Vandoorne from Belgium for the 2021 season. He joins up with Frenchman, Norman Nato, in the programme that is laying the ground work for the arrival of the electric-hydrogen category in the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans. Thanks to this duo of very quick new-generation drivers, both of whom are confirmed single-seater and hybrid-powered or 100% electric top-level prototype aces, Mission24 will be able to accelerate its performance development and increase the pace of its private testing programme.

The H24Racing team, which runs the MissionH24 prototypes in both testing and competition, expects a great deal from these two drivers who have already racked up brilliant results, and who are much appreciated by the engineers for the quality of their technical approach to setup work and development. Stoffel and Norman were rivals on their debut in single-seater racing (F4). They know each other very well and are great friends to the point that they train together on a regular basis in karts and share their physical fitness programme. They will be team-mates for the first time and in a few weeks they will kick off MissionH24’s private 2021 test programme by giving the new H24 its first shakedown.

The H24 conceived around a power unit designed by GreenGT was presented at the 24 Hours of Le Mans press conference on 18th September 2020. It has followed in the tyre tracks of the LMPH2G, the MissionH24 programme’s first electric-hydrogen-powered prototype that had reached the limit of its potential after two years’ development and its first outings in competition.

Nato and Vandoorne will ensure together as often as possible the development of this new car when their racing commitments allow (they are both entered for the Formula E World Championship, Norman with the ROKiT Venturi Racing outfit and Stoffel with Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E team) or separately when their agendas prevent them from being together.

MissionH24 and the H24Racing team will soon announce the names of the other two drivers who will contest the rounds of the 2021 Michelin Le Mans Cup at the wheel of the H24.

A new electric-hydrogen prototype (currently under construction) designed over the past few months by the H24Racing team will take to the track this summer in the MissionH24 colours.

The new car will be much more than an evolution of the LMPH2G and affirms the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s and GreenGT’s determination to accelerate the development of electric-hydrogen-powered racing cars as their aim is to introduce a dedicated category at the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans.

This 2020 model will mark a new step forward in terms of performance and in all the technical areas including aerodynamics, ground links, the powertrain, autonomy, etc.

This new prototype (as well as its name) will be unveiled during the summer. It will immediately undertake an intensive test programme.

Jean-Michel Bouresche, Mission H24 operations manager, H24 Racing Team Principal : “Stoffel Vandoorne and Norman Nato are just the duo we need to speed up the performance development of our two electric-hydrogen-powered prototypes. They’re among the quickest circuit racing drivers in the world. They’re also two guys who like working as a team with the technicians. So we know that with them we’ll always be at the limits of what the car can give. A racing prototype, a team, a programme can only make progress when the bar is being continually raised by the best people from the beginning to the end of the chain. The final links of this chain are the drivers. Stoffel and Norman bring us their know-how in the field of performance and their experience of the new generation Formula E racing cars, in particular. I’m very happy that in addition to their already very full sporting programmes they have both accepted to be our two benchmark drivers.”

Stoffel Vandoorne : “I’m very happy to be joining MissionH24 and the H24 Racing team and I’d like to thank Jean-Michel Bouresche for asking me to come on board. I’ve got several reasons to be enthusiastic; first of all to be taking part in this innovative programme that is building one of the futures of motor sport, which is a great opportunity for any driver that’s passionate about innovations like I am. And then to know that I’m going to be working with my friend Norman Nato is a great pleasure. We’ve always been friends off the track; we’ve been rivals but never team-mates. And finally here we are together as team-mates on the same project on which he’s been working for two years: namely, to make electric-hydrogen power competitive in endurance. It’s just the kind of sporting and technological challenge I love. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the new H24 prototype!”

Norman Nato :  “Sharing driving duties with Stoffel for H24Racing is the first piece of good news of 2021. We’ve been friends for so long and at last we’re finally going to drive the same car for the same team. I’ve been involved with MissionH24 since its launch in 2018 and I’m going to help him discover what it is in this programme that really fires my enthusiasm, namely: being involved in the development of a technology with immense potential with GreenGT, specialist in high-power electric-hydrogen technology, with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, which is pioneering the path of the future of endurance, and the partners who are doing everything they can to be the precursors. Today we’re working as trail-blazers for tomorrow!”

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