The WR Bio-Methane prototype that was set to race in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans as the Garage 56 entrant has been postponed. (En Français)
The French car, which was set to feature a three-cylinder 1.2-liter engine along with a cryogenic fuel tank, first revealed in May, has been called off for 2017 due to budget reasons.
Speaking to Endurance-Info, WR engineer Thibaut Dejardin explained that the project has not been abandoned, but has already missed the deadline to be on the grid in time for the race.
“The project continues,” Dejardin told Endurance-Info. “Unfortunately we will not be in Le Mans next year. However, and this will depend of course on the decision of the ACO, we hope to be in 2018, 2019 or 2020.
“Mechanically, we have made good progress. The carbon monocoque is finished. The nose gear is completed and is being assembled. The rear axle and its crashbox are being manufactured, the steering column is being assembled with steering wheel and power steering. The engine structure is being modified to accommodate the bio-methane.
“Various parts: crankshaft; pistons; camshaft; pushers; bearings; etc., are currently at the subcontractors and await the budget. The body waits for a final run in the wind tunnel for us to launch the tools. ”
As a result, next year’s French endurance classic is not expected to feature a Garage 56 entry, with the ACO yet to announce the recipient of the entry, for experimental or innovative technologies, for 2018.
It’s understood multiple projects have been proposed for 2018, including at least one from an Asian automaker.