Louis Rossi is in full reconversion. Seventeen years that the French pilot surveyed the circuits on two wheels, first in speed in Moto3 then Moto2, then in endurance, within the world championship of endurance. A journey that has earned him several great awards. Already in 2012, with victory at the French Grand Prix in his hometown of Le Mans, which made him the last Frenchman to have triumphed at Le Mans. In 2018, he finished vice-world champion with Junior Team Suzuki. He then joined the ranks of the official BMW and then Ducati teams and is still back on the podiums. At the same time, he took the microphone for Canal + where he comments on the Moto2 and Moto3 Grands Prix as well as the MotoGP Grands Prix.
In September 2021, the pilot suffered an accident during the Bol d’Or event which immobilized him for a month in the hospital. A few months later, he decided to put an end to his motorcycle career. If his accident probably pushes him to « turn the corner », one thing is certain: the pilot would have ended up swapping his handlebars for a steering wheel.
« I’ve actually wanted to do motorsport for a while now.says Louis Rossi. I wanted to move on, jump in a car. Doing the 24 Hours of Le Mans is my dream, my ambition. It all started at Le Mans for me! Born in Le Mans, I scored my first motorcycle podium at Le Mans, I won my first Grand Prix at Le Mans, I took part in the 24 Hours of Motorcycles six times. All I miss is the 24 Hours of Le Mans! I used to attend this event as a spectator for years, with so much desire. So I said ‘Stop!’. Now is the time to take action. »
The 24 Hours of Le Mans in sight from 2023
And Louis Rossi is not afraid of anything since he has set himself the goal of competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 2023. Ambitious but methodical, the driver is concocting an express tailor-made apprenticeship. In June, he took part in his first motorsport competition on the Nogaro circuit at the wheel of a Lamera. A first successful experience since the young car driver climbed twice on the podium, on the second step in race 1 and on the third step in race 2. In July, he was back in a bucket seat, but from a sport-prototype this time, a CN, as part of the Misano round of the Ultimate Cup Series. And another podium, with third place in the category.
“It was at Misano, at the wheel of the CN, that I discovered the aerodynamic downforceexplains Louis Rossi. It’s a lot more like my riding style. This experience allowed me to reorient myself towards the sport-prototype category rather than the GT, even if I don’t close any doors. »
A discovery of the ACO championships with the Ligier European Series
In just a few days, on October 14 and 15, Louis Rossi is attacking the endurance pyramid with a first race in the Ligier European Series. The series organized by Le Mans Endurance Management, during the same weekends as the Michelin Le Mans Cup and the European Le Mans Series, is the gateway to the world of endurance. Combining sport-prototypes and GTs from the French manufacturer Ligier Automotive, the JS P4 and the JS2 R, the series allows drivers to discover endurance and ACO competitions with cars that are accessible in terms of handling and cost.
His new tool: the Ligier JS P4, 385 horsepower for 920 kg
And it is therefore quite naturally at the wheel of a Ligier JS P4 sports prototype that Louis Rossi will drive during the championship final on the Portimão circuit, in Portugal. With 385 horsepower and 920 kg, the JS P4 was designed as the little sister of the manufacturer’s LMP3s (the Ligier JS P3 and JS P320). Louis Rossi will share the seat of the #33 Ligier JS P4 of Les Deux Arbres, Jack Leconte’s team, with Jacques Nicolet.
“I look forward to continuing my learning with a first race in an ACO championship, comments Louis Rossi. I’m really excited to be racing in a new series with a new car. As for my two other car experiences, I’m starting from scratch. I will discover the car when I arrive at the Portimão circuit on Thursday. I am ready to learn everything. I hope to get a good result. And why not my first motorsport victory? »
Louis Rossi will still have to face stiff competition with a field of twenty cars divided between the two categories, well-established teams with already five rounds under their hoods, and drivers from all over the world.
Follow Louis Rossi live on the Algarve roller coaster:
The sixth and final round of the Ligier European Series will take place, like all the other meetings, on Friday and Saturday. Louis Rossi will take his place in the #33 Ligier JS P4 on Friday October 14 at 9:30 a.m. for the first forty-minute free practice session. The second session will take place at 2 p.m. before the two qualifications of fifteen minutes each, at 4:10 p.m. and 4:35 p.m. They will determine the starting grids for the two races. Each driver will complete a qualifying session and start the race for which he has qualified.
The two one-hour races will take place on Saturday at 9:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. with a driver change during the mandatory pit stop window between the twenty-seventh and thirty-fourth minute. Both races will be broadcast live on the series’ website and YouTube and Facebook channels with commentary in French and English.