The Brazilian-Italian, who has not competed since the conclusion of his title-winning season in the 2022 Formula 2 Championship, will contest the full six-round ELMS in the British team’s LMP2 ORECA-Gibson 07.

Drugovich will share the car with Stephane Richelmi and Ryan Cullen in place of Gabriel Aubry, who had been scheduled to continue driving for the team with which he raced in LMP2 in the World Endurance Championship in 2023.

“It’s good to know that I will be back in action in real races, bringing together my experience and my fondness for endurance racing,” said 23-year-old Drugovich, who took part in two Friday free practice sessions with Aston last year in his first year in the reserve role.

“My job as substitute and reserve driver with Aston Martin in F1 continues with its full schedule; I will just be keeping busy on my weekends which up until now have been free.

“I have met the team and was impressed with what I saw: I am sure that together with them and my fellow drivers we can write a successful chapter with the #10 ORECA.”

Vector team principal Gary Holland described himself as a “big fan of Felipe’s.”

“The opportunity to have someone like him in the car doesn’t happen very often, so we had to record it with both hands,” he told Motorsport.com.

“This program only really came up in the last week or so, but we’d already been talking for a while, more about the longer term.

“Felipe has been out of competition for a year, so he wants to stay sharp.

“It’s been a bit hectic getting it done, but I have high hopes for what we think is a very balanced line-up.”

#10 Vector Sport Oreca 07 - Gibson: Ryan Cullen, Matthias Kaiser, Gabriel Aubry

#10 Vector Sport Oreca 07 – Gibson: Ryan Cullen, Matthias Kaiser, Gabriel Aubry

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Drugovich will get his first experience of the Vector ORECA at Paul Ricard this week when he joins Richelmi and Cullen in a two-day test on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Four of the six rounds of the ELMS, which kicks off at Barcelona on April 14, clash with F1 races.

But Stoffel Vandoorne, with whom Drugovich shares the reserve role at Aston, does not have conflicts for those weekends with his programs driving for Peugeot in the WEC and DS Penske in Formula E.

Drugovich’s deal with Vector does not currently cover the Le Mans 24 Hours WEC round in June for which Vector has an entry.

Holland suggested that Aubry could remain with the team for the French enduro on 15/16 June.

“We’d like to keep Gabby in the fold,” he explained.

“We have bigger and better programs coming, so we are going to have to increase our portfolio of drivers anyway.”

Teams do not have to nominate their full driver line-ups for Le Mans until early May.

Vector was formed ahead of its maiden LMP2 assault on the 2022 WEC and has moved into the ELMS after the secondary prototype class was axed from the world championship for this season.

It had been due to graduate to the Hypercar class of the WEC in parallel with its entry into the ELMS in partnership with the Italian Isotta Fraschini brand before the breakdown of its deal.

Isotta eventually entered WEC in association with Duqueine Engineering.

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