Former Le Mans 24 Hours winner Stefan Johansson will return to the wheel of a prototype for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The U.S.-based Swede, who won Le Mans with the Joest Porsche team in 1997, has signed to drive one of the Gulf Racing Middle East squad's Lola-Nissan B12/80 LMP2s in the opening round of the American Le Mans Series and FIA World Endurance Championship on March 17. Johansson is hopeful that the drive will lead to a full-time seat with the team in the WEC.
Johansson, who will share the Gulf Lola with Ivory Coast driver Frederic Fatien and sometime British Formula 3 racer Keiko Ihara, said: "I've been looking to get back in a prototype for a while, so this is great news. It's a bit last-minute, but I think it's like that for a lot of teams.
"The deal is only for Sebring at the moment, but the intent is there to do the full season. That would get me back to Le Mans; I didn't want to miss another one."
Johansson last raced a prototype when he made a one-off in last year's Petit Le Mans enduro at Road Atlanta but undertook a full season in the ALMS in a Ginetta-Zytek run by Corsa Motorsports in 2009. The last of his 24 Le Mans starts came at the wheel of an Epsilon-Euskadi LMP1 coupe in 2008.
Former Le Mans Series champion Jan Charouz has completed the lineup in the other Gulf Lola. The Czech will drive with team boss Fabien Giroix and ex-Formula Palmer Audi regular Maxime Jousse.