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ARC Bratislava Withdraws From Fuji Citing Logistical Factors

Slovakian squad to miss 6 Hours of Fuji due to tight deadline for sea freight to Japan…

Photo: MPS Agency

FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 team ARC Bratislava has announced that it will miss the 6 Hours of Fuji due to logistical constraints.

The Slovakian squad issued a statement on Friday confirming that it will not travel to Japan for the penultimate round of the WEC season in September, but still plans to be on the grid for the races on either side at Monza in July and Bahrain in November.

ARC Bratislava runs an Oreca 07 Gibson in the LMP2 Pro-Am category, with team owner Miro Konopka driving on a full-time basis alongside different crewmates.

Konopka explained that a tight turnaround after the 6 Hours of Monza has prompted a decision from his organization to miss the sea freight voyage to Japan, which the WEC organizes alongside official partner DHL.

“We’re a small private-owned team, the only one from the Central European Zone participating in FIA WEC and ALMS,” said Konopka.

“We just have one car and although we always try hard, it’s simply not feasible for us to prepare the car for the two remaining races and pack the freight container in one day only.

“It would not only mean rebuilding the car, but also repack everything from the truck to the shipping container, restock the spare parts and material.

“We’ll come back to the workshop from Monza on July 11th evening and on [the] 13th we would need to depart to the port of Antwerp in order to catch the boat to Japan. We have neither enough staff nor equipment to deal with such a short deadline.

“During that one day, we are not able to make the car ready for a world championship race level and make sure we come prepared. On the contrary to the teams with two or three or more cars, we see this deadline as impossible to catch.

“Even if Monza would end without any impactful technical issues, shipping the car unprepared is a risk too high from [a] safety perspective as well as from the point of view of expectations that are coming with a world championship race level.”

ARC Bratislava started the WEC campaign with a 13th place finish at the 1000 Miles of Sebring with Konopka, Mathias Beche and Tijmen van der Helm.

Bent Viscaal replaced Beche in the lineup for the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa, where the team failed to finish after Konopka crashed out early in the second hour.

It had a better run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Konopka, Viscaal and Tristan Vautier leading the Pro-Am division for part of the race before ultimately fading to sixth in the sub-class and 21st in the overall LMP2 classification.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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