Timothé Buret (Ligier), another humanitarian in motorsport
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Timothé Buret (Ligier), another humanitarian in motorsport

Timothé Buret is a driver who represents not only his team, Panis-Barthez Compétition, but also Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, a charitable organization that saves the lives of underprivileged children with heart defects and with which the Automobile Club has been partners for several years.

Panis-Barthez Compétition's 2017 season in the European Le Mans Series was tricky in terms of results, but on a more personal level for Timothé Buret, it was a positive one. "It was a good season. I improved quite a bit, my stints were more solid than during my first year. I only made one mistake in 2017, at qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I'm happy, I made good progress and capitalized on my 2016 season. There was proper cohesion in our driver line-up. We did have some technical problelms, but that's part of this sport, you have to accept it."

For 2018, he has remained with Panis-Barthez Compétition in the ELMS at the wheel of the #23 Ligier JS P217-Gibson in the LMP2 class, but with two new drivers. "New challenge, new teammates! For me, it's another season to be able to improve on things. I get along very well with Will Stevens and Julien Canal, our first interactions have been great. I think the driver line-up is well-balanced and in terms of results and performance, we should be pretty good."

Naturally the bar is set high, as it is for all athletes who give it their all, even in the face of a particularly competitive ELMS field. "This year, the entry list in the ELMS is stunning, with 19 LMP2s at the start, most of which will do the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The level of the teams and drivers has gone up a notch from 2017, so having the driver line-up we do is a good thing! We're among the favorites in the ELMS, and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but to run well and get along is not enough, expect the unexpected at Le Mans."

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When not competing, Timothé Buret works with Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque as one of its new ambassadors this year. "Panis-Barthez Compétition and Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque have been partners since 2016. So I've been able to meet the organization's members during our hospital visits, meetings and at the headquarters in Paris. This past winter, I decided to go a step further and invest more of my time by creating an online donation page called 1COEUR-1TIM which has since collected 12,000 euros toward saving a child. I also serve as an ambassador for the association, and you can see their colors on my helmet and coveralls."

The 22-year-old seems deeply involved. "I don't have any family members with heart troubles, but it touches me to be able to help someone so profoundly yet so easily. It's not necessarily about heart disease, it's just about giving help, I don't see how I couldn't. Also, I hit it off with the members of the organization, I was really able to get a sense of what they give of themselves, what they do and it motivated me to join in. I met several host families and children about to be operated on. And, having saved a child this past winter makes me a 'godfather.' I decided to keep the donation page running so more people can give what they can."

That child is expected to join the team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 16-17). He'll watch his godfather, Timothé Buret, and assist in the start of the race. Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque allows children with heart defects and from disadvantaged countries to be welcomed and cared for in France. L'Automobile Club de l'Ouest has been a partner of the organization for nine years running.

 

PHOTOS (Copyright - MPS Agency)