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The No. 28 TDS Racing Oreca of Mattieu Vaxiviere, Francois Perrodo and Loic Duval also had its fourth-place finish rescinded for the same reason.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

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. They cheated and got caught

    June 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I don’t understand the appeal, there is a CLEAR parts list that states parts that can be modified. The part is question was not one of those parts thus it was not allowed to be modified in any way. Exclusion from the race is the minimum penalty, exclusion from the championship is far more suitable. It wasn’t a heat of the race, drill a hole in the bodywork to hammer the starter like Rebellion last year or a grey area flow-optimization of the fuel tank. This was a previously modified part outside of the rules in clear violation of those rules.

    • Brian

      June 21, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      Don’t forget that the Rebellion was disqualified twice last year. Once for having modified bodywork, a second time for trying to hide the fact by covering the hole with tape whilst the car was in parc ferme after the race….
      The G-Drive and TDS teams have said they believe they were in full compliance with the regulations. Let’s see what happens at the appeal before we slate them. Don’t forget they would have still won by a lap of they were fuelling at the same time as alpine. Also take a look at the JOTA cars refueling times… Only 2sec slower than TDS/G-Drive. So it seems like others were able to fuel quicker also.

      • Andy

        June 21, 2018 at 3:31 pm

        Just because they would have still won doesn’t make it a permissible change to the rig. And if others were in compliance and fueled quickly, great; if they were not found out finishing further back then that’s a problem with the officials.

  2. Steven

    June 21, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    They are gonna have to be convincing as all hell for the ACO to reverse this decision. No way do I see the ACO reversing it.

  3. Tim Lawrence

    June 22, 2018 at 1:46 am

    If the regulation parts were all correct and other components are free, then there is no illegality, just because they found a way around the regs. Ultimately the job of the team’s engineers is to make the best use of the rules (guys like Jim Hall & Colin Chapman always did!).

    If that is the case then I see this as another example of the over-regulated, badly-regulated world of WEC where – it seems – words mean whatever the FIA/ACO want them to mean and things like BoP and EoT can be changed by them to suit their whim.

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