Algarve Pro Racing will defend its European Le Mans Series (ELMS) crowns against the largest ever grid of LMP2s – 22 in all across the Pro and Pro-Am classes – with Alex Lynn, Olli Caldwell and Matthias Kaiser in 2024.
The Albufeira, Portugal squad’s maiden ELMS Overall Teams and Drivers Trophies, as well as the coveted LMP2 Championships, were the result of a concerted push that produced race wins at Circuit Paul Ricard and Spa, and three podiums in Aragon and Portimao.
One third of the Champion driver line-up was British ace Lynn, who will remain with Algarve Pro alongside his high-profile Cadillac Racing Hypercar and Corvette GTD commitments in 2024.
Lynn began his single-seater career in Formula Renault UK, dominating the 2011 championship to then progress from British Formula 3 to the FIA European F3 Championship during a 2013 season that concluded with a convincing victory in the Macau Grand Prix.
The following year in 2014, he wrapped up the GP3 title and, after a spell in F2, took on Formula 1 Development Driver duties for Williams Racing and then a seat in the FIA Formula E Championship.
What would be a long-standing relationship with Aston Martin Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) also proved hugely successful, as victory in the 2020 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans stands among his biggest achievements to date.
His speed and ability is undeniable, but Lynn also brought the knowledge, work ethic and mentality of a works driver to Algarve Pro’s championship-winning 2023 ELMS campaign, and he’s sure to be an asset when the Portugal-based squad attempts to defend its titles in 2024.
“I’m super excited and it brings a smile to my face knowing I’ll be back with Algarve Pro Racing to defend our titles in the 2024 European Le Mans Series,” said Lynn. “We had a fantastic 2023 in terms of results and I also had a great time with the team, so I’m very motivated to do the same again. Race victories and championship titles are what I go racing for, and the same is true of Algarve Pro.
“Of course, I’ll have new teammates; Matthias (Kaiser) has FIA WEC experience, which for me is super critical in a championship like the ELMS, and Olli (Caldwell) is an up and coming driver with a lot of potential. I like to think I bring the work ethic and mentality of a factory driver, where you leave no stone unturned and perform from the very first to the very last second of every race. Every facet of your job is always right on the edge and, while it’s all-consuming when you want to win, it’s very rewarding when you do.”
Caldwell, aged 21, graduated from karts to the Ginetta Junior Championship in 2016 before turning his focus to Formula 4 categories in Europe, the United Arab Emirates and the UK, where he set a record as the youngest British F4 points scorer.
His ascent up the single-seater ladder took him on to F2 via FIA F3, the F3 World Cup and Formula Regional Europe, and selection for the prestigious Alpine Academy led to a simulator role and two F1 tests at Silverstone and Bahrain International Circuit.
However, the Oxford-domiciled driver kept his hand in sportscar racing by dovetailing his open-wheel commitments with Gulf 12 Hours and Intercontinental GT Challenge appearances, before launching into a dual LMP2 campaign in the ELMS and FIA WEC, which included the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“I’m really excited to be joining Algarve Pro Racing for the upcoming season,” said Caldwell. “I met and tested with the team some time ago and it’s nice to be joining them for my second full season in the European Le Mans Series, especially as they’re reigning Champions. The title-winning status means we will go into 2024 on a strong, positive footing and I’m confident in our line-up because Matthias (Kaiser) did a good, faultless job in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship and Alex (Lynn) is a well-established and successful driver who has a lot of experience with factory teams and a fairly long history in endurance racing. I’m still early in my career and I know I can learn a lot from him.
“I’m aware of many of the driver combinations within what is a record-breaking LMP2 entry and I’m genuinely excited about the prospect of taking on a full grid of cars with the sole aim of defending Algarve Pro’s championship titles.”
Kaiser, aged 32 from Liechtenstein, first appeared on the sportscar scene in Porsche Sports Cup Germany but added endurance racing to his résumé when he entered the TCR class of the 2018 CREVENTIC 24H Series, prior to a two-pronged 2019 season that yielded LMP3 titles in the Ultimate Cup and VdeV.
Having discovered an affinity with Le Mans Prototypes and a determination to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Kaiser stepped into Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) rules racing, and multiple LMP3 and LMP2 podium finishes in the Asian Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup and ELMS ultimately led him to the 2023 FIA WEC, which included that coveted entry to the Centenary edition of Le Mans.
These experiences have intensified his desire to win and so he will join the Champion Algarve Pro Racing team’s ELMS ranks as it attempts to defend its titles against an expanded 22-strong LMP2 entry.
“I’m super excited about the 2024 European Le Mans Series,” said Kaiser. “I’ve known Samantha and Stewart Cox, and Algarve Pro Racing for a few years now and tested with the team at the end of 2022. It will be great to join them following their most successful season to date, having won the ELMS, 24 Hours of Le Mans and IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup in 2023.
“As a driver, you always want to compete with the best team and I couldn’t be happier about joining APR. My eyes were wide when I saw the amazing ELMS entry list with a huge LMP2 field. To race 21 other cars with such highly skilled line-ups is an exciting proposition, and I have complete trust in the team, Alex (Lynn) and Olli (Caldwell). Alex knows how to win the title and Olli brings a lot of experience in single-seaters and prototypes, and we will do everything we can to work towards the championships.”