G-drive loses Le Mans LMP2 appeal
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.