David Heinemeier Hansson says he’s withdrawn from the FIA World Endurance Championship GTE-Am class due to the category no longer being a “viable or competitive” option for gentlemen drivers like himself.
The 40-year-old Dane was due to complete the 2019-20 season in the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR with ex-Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli and Bronze-rated Egidio Perfetti.
However, the world-renowned tech entrepreneur, who won the GTE-Am class championship in 2014, has been replaced by 22-year-old Michelin Le Mans Cup champion Laurents Hörr, who is also Silver rated by the FIA.
Speaking on Twitter, Heinemeier Hansson confirmed he stood down from the drive due to what he feels what has become an unfair class in GTE-Am, which per rules requires at least one Bronze-rated driver paired with either another Bronze or a Silver-rated driver.
“I decided to withdraw from the 56 [car] after it became clear that a car with two amateurs and one pro, as the spirit of the GTE-Am class was intended, is no longer a viable or competitive option,” he wrote on Twitter. “Egidio and I were the only such pairing in an 11-car field, and it sucked
“It simply made no sense to continue when you had three factory drivers racing as Silvers, half the field qualifying their Silvers, and the entire field, minus us, using professional/career drivers as Silvers. Why waste our time and money competing on such a profoundly unfair field?
“Egidio and Matteo are awesome, fast drivers for their ratings. But as the lone gentleman driver with a Silver ranking, I was the anchor on that boat. And who the hell wants to be the anchor? So while it’s a sad note to end on, I’m happy to set those guys free to chase wins.”
This season’s GTE-Am class has featured an increased number of young Silver-rated drivers, including Aston Martin Racing factory ace Ross Gunn and newly minted Ferrari factory driver Nicklas Nielsen, as well as Brazilian stock car ace Felipe Fraga, who has landed works-supported Mercedes-AMG drives in SRO competition.
All three of those drivers have been upgraded from Silver to Gold for 2020, although the WEC utilizes the past year’s ratings for the entirety of its ‘winter’ championship.
“It’s deeply disappointing that WEC allowed the class to get here without revising the regulations,” Heinemeier Hansson said. “I’ve raced in the class many times over the years. There’d always be the odd Silver that wasn’t really a gentlemen driver, but having ten cars packed with fake Silvers is new.
“If GTE-Am can support a two pro/one am system, that’s great. Just commit to that. Mandate one Bronze, one Gold, one Platinum. That way nobody gets hoodwinked into signing up for a program under false pretenses.
“It’s the pretending that just grinds me. So unnecessary, so disrespectful.
“I just got tired of complaining about the same crap over and over again on Twitter. So this is the only real lever. Call it quits, take your money and time elsewhere.
“Driving with Egidio and Matteo was awesome. Our lineup would have been fantastic in almost any other year of the class. The team was great, the RSR is a beast, and I would have loved to attack the Porsche curves in a Porsche again. But better sit on the couch than play the fool.”