Jason Rishover and Jamie Spence will return to the LMP3 Cup for 2018, making a title push as the pair’s IAG Racing teams up with 360 Racing in a Ligier JS P3. The duo contested eight races last season with four podium finishes, though Spence suffered heartbreak as a puncture caused his retirement while leading at Brands Hatch.
360 Racing competed in the opening round at Donington Park and has experience running in the European Le Mans Series for two seasons, which it plans to utilise to help Rishover and Spence get to the top step of the podium.
“I’ve known Jason for the past few years and we’ve spoken about running the car,” said Mark Owen, Team Manager at 360 Racing. “We get on well and decided that we could put a partnership together with IAG and 360 running the car for the foreseeable future and make a run at the championship.”
The partnership includes the recruitment of experienced Formula 1 and saloon car engineer Peter Berry to work on the car throughout the season. “I tested for the first time last March or April,” said Rishover. “I hadn’t driven an LMP3 car before, so I think last year was getting the feel for the car and understanding it and now we’ve dipped in and out we’re doing a full year. Our pre-season testing means we’re going to be in the car as much as possible and get it where we want to be.”
One of the important aspects of the package was putting Spence back in the car after he’d raced in just seven races in the previous 16 years. “Getting Jamie back in racing has created a lot of interest, he was one of the best as a junior,” said Rishover. “He’s inspired again and we’re both looking forward to the season.
“What’s amazing about this is Peter looked after Jamie as a kid, so to get Jamie and Peter united again is going to give him more confidence that he knows who is looking after the car. We hope that will be a big plus.”
“I’ve always kept in contact with Peter and this year we’ve managed to put it together that he’s going to engineer the car,” said Spence. “Last year was a big learning curve for us and this year hopefully we can have a good run at the Championship. The whole thing will be a good package. Everyone is excited about it and fingers crossed it will go well.”
Being able to translate knowledge from 360 Racing’s ELMS competition was another key aspect for Rishover wanting to return to the LMP3 Cup after a steep learning curve in 2017. “Last year we suffered a bit with the set-up,” he said. “We’ve moved to Michelin tyres this year and I think the car handles a bit better with them, so that is going to make a big improvement to the car all round.”
The 2018 LMP3 Cup Championship starts at Donington Park on April 21/22, with tickets now on sale from www.donington-park.co.uk priced from £8 with children under 13 going free.