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HomeMotorsportsAfter vertebral fracture: Alpine replacement driver Jules Gounon replaces Habsburg in Imola

After vertebral fracture: Alpine replacement driver Jules Gounon replaces Habsburg in Imola

Alpine replacement driver Jules Gounon celebrates his debut in the World Endurance Championship at the WEC round in Imola: The Frenchman replaces the injured Ferdinand Habsburg

The replacement driver for Ferdinand Habsburg, who broke two lumbar vertebrae in a test accident in Spain, has been confirmed: Jules Gounon was presented by Alpine as a reserve driver for the World Endurance Championship (WEC) back in February – and will make his WEC debut at the second round of the season in Imola (April 21).

The Frenchman will drive the number 35 Alpine A424 LMDh, Mick Schumacher’s sister car, as the third driver alongside Charles Milesi and Paul-Loup. “It’s never easy to make your debut in such a context, but Jules has been selected and signed for this role, even though we couldn’t have imagined it would happen as early as it has now,” says Alpine team boss Philippe Sinault.

“He is basically ready, but still has a lot to learn, even if he has already proven that he has mastered some aspects, considering his track record in GT racing,” the Frenchman reminds us. “We refined his preparation during the last tests with his six teammates and then in the simulator to prepare him for all our processes.”

Gounon, who was a works driver for Bentley and Mercedes in GT3 racing for many years, will be contesting his first race at the wheel of a prototype. For the team, it is therefore primarily about gaining important experience with the vehicle.

“Our aim in Imola is to continue our learning process in order to be better equipped for the upcoming races and gain momentum,” says Sinault. “We will get to know a track that is completely different to what we have experienced since our first drives with the A424.”

It is not yet clear when Habsburg will be able to sit in the cockpit again. It is still unclear whether the Austrian will be fit again for the third round of the season at Spa on May 11th

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