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24H Le Mans

G-Drive, TDS Appeal LMP2 Exclusions

G-Drive Racing and parent squad TDS Racing have launched an appeal into the team’s double-exclusion from Le Mans…

Photo: Bruno Vandevelde/Endurance-Info

TDS Racing and G-Drive Racing have launched a formal appeal against their respective disqualifications from the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The No. 26 G-Drive Oreca 07 Gibson driven by Jean-Eric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola and Roman Rusinov was stripped of its LMP2 class win after a post-race investigation found it was gaining time in the pits using a non-compliant part on the fuel restrictor.

The No. 28 TDS Racing Oreca of Mattieu Vaxiviere, Francois Perrodo and Loic Duval also had its fourth-place finish rescinded for the same reason.

A statement from TDS, which runs both entries, said that “both teams consider having at all times respected the applicable regulations and have been truly disappointed by the Stewards decision.”

The French outfit will pursue a reconsideration of the decision by putting its case in front of the FIA International Court of Appeal.

Vergne, Pizzitola and Rusinov dominated last weekend’s French endurance classic, taking the checkered flag by over two laps.

However, it later emerged that their car was gaining an advantage of 6-8 seconds at each stop over the competition.

This was found to be caused by the use of an “additional machined part” connected to the refueling restrictor that made fuel enter the car at an enhanced rate.

The alteration of the result means Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Pierre Thiriet have been stated as provisional winners with their No. 36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson, until the outcome of the appeal.

It has also boosted the No. 39 Graff-run Oreca of Vincent Capillaire, Tristan Gommendy and Jonathan Hirschi to second, while the No. 32 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 driven by Will Owen, Hugo de Sadeleer and Juan Pablo Montoya has moved into third.

The joint TDS/G-Drive statement said that “no further comment will be issued until the procedure is over.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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