The sole Team LNT Ginetta G60-LT-P1 AER set for the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been withdrawn, bringing the LMP1 field down to five cars for the race next weekend.
Its absence has been confirmed in Friday’s latest update to the entry list, which now shows a total of 59 cars for the FIA World Endurance Championship headline round.
Ginetta originally nominated a single G60 to be driven by Chris Dyson, Mike Simpson and 2003 Le Mans winner Guy Smith.
A statement from Ginetta provided to Sportscar365 explained that uncertainties related to the COVID-19 situation influenced the British constructor’s decision not to take part.
“Team LNT with its Ginetta G60-LT-P1-AER will not be contesting the 24 Hours of Le Mans of 2020,” read the statement.
“New COVID cases in France are at their highest level since the start of the pandemic and with the latest quarantine rules in place when returning, as a factory-based team, this will in effect mean a minimum four-week closure of the Ginetta manufacturing facility, with a knock-on effect on Ginetta’s core UK championships.
“This, coupled with the significantly altered WEC calendar, has meant that after careful consideration, the decision has been taken that the G60-LT-P1-AER will not contest this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
“The factory will instead focus on testing and refining the cars in preparation for the 2020/2021 season.”
Ginetta’s factory LNT squad contested the opening four rounds of the 2019-20 season but has not raced since the 8 Hours of Bahrain last December.
Its withdrawal from Le Mans means the two-car efforts from Toyota Gazoo Racing and Rebellion Racing, and the single ByKolles Racing entry, will make up the LMP1 class.
The entry list also verifies Juan Pablo Montoya’s participation in the race with LMP2 squad DragonSpeed, however the double Indianapolis 500 winner is shown as replacing Memo Rojas rather than Pipo Derani.
This is erroneous since Derani confirmed earlier this week that he had stood down from his planned Le Mans drive with the American team, enabling Montoya to join.
There have also been a couple of updates in the GTE-Am ranks, with Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup driver Max van Splunteren joining the No. 78 Proton Competition lineup which previously had a TBA slot alongside Horst Felbermayr Jr and Michele Beretta.
Additionally, the No. 99 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR now shows French GT4 regular Julien Piguet in place of Hugo de Sadeleer.