G-drive loses Le Mans LMP2 ap­peal

Autosport (UK) - - CONTENTS - GARY WATKINS

The dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of the G-drive ORECA from LMP2 class vic­tory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in June was con­firmed last week. The FIA International Court of Ap­peal up­held the ex­clu­sion of the Tds-run en­try, hand­ing the win and fifth place over­all to the Alpine Sig­nat­ech ORECA driven by Nicolas Lapierre, An­dre Ne­grao and Pierre Thiriet.

The court, which met in Paris on Septem­ber 18, up­held the stew­ards’ de­ci­sion that TDS Rac­ing had il­le­gally mod­i­fied the re­fu­elling rigs used by both the G-drive ORECA shared by Jean-eric Vergne, Ro­man Rusi­nov and An­drea Pizzi­tola and the fourth­placed sis­ter car run un­der its own ban­ner. It threw out the French team’s ap­peal, which claimed a part it had added to the sys­tems was a “com­mend­able tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tion” and that there was no spe­cific reg­u­la­tion cov­er­ing the area of its mod­i­fi­ca­tion.

But be­cause the ad­di­tional com­po­nent TDS fit­ted to the rigs pro­truded into the flow re­stric­tor de­signed to con­trol the rate at which fuel goes into the car, the court de­cided that it con­sti­tuted a breach of reg­u­la­tions. It stated that it is not per­mit­ted to have a com­pli­ant part that is ren­dered re­dun­dant by an­other part.

The court noted that re­fu­elling of the two Tds-run ORECAS was ap­prox­i­mately 25% faster than the other cars in class, which con­sti­tuted a gain of six to 10 sec­onds per pit­stop. G-drive fin­ished two laps ahead of Sig­nat­ech at the end of the blue-riband World En­durance Cham­pi­onship round.

The de­ci­sion means that the Graff-so24 ORECA and United Au­tosports Ligier have been con­firmed in se­cond and third places in class re­spec­tively.

LAT

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