Team SARD-Morand was one of the first teams to commit to the FIA World Endurance Championship for 2015, entering a pair of Morgan LMP2 EVOs with strong driver lineups. (En Français)
Despite good winter preparations and a presence at the FIA WEC Prologue, the team was conspicuously absent from the opening round of the championship at Silverstone earlier this month.
While a single Morgan should be on the grid for the remaining races with Pierre Ragues, Oliver Webb and Zoel Amberg, the second entry is not on the order of the day.
The Benoit Morand-led team has yet to release details on the remainder of the program but what’s certain is that it will not involve Kairos Technologies or the “Race to 24” online reality show competition.
SARD Back at Le Mans
During this writer’s visit to Suzuka last summer, SARD revealed its plan to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in LMP, with a bonus desire to integrate a program around a possible Garage 56 entry as well.
Discussions with Morand began in September before a partnership was forged for 2015, initially in LMP2 but with the goal of moving up to LMP1 in the medium term.
With the commitment to bring half of the overall budget, the program seemed to be on track. Unfortunately, SARD lost some of its partners earlier this year and the Japanese team was forced to reduce its participation.
The Race to 24 Saga
“Race to 24” selected a panel of 24 young drivers, with the winner of the competition gaining a seat in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and remaining FIA WEC races in the No. 39 Morgan LMP2 EVO.
The show was also projected to finance a large part of the team’s program via its worldwide impact, although other than the list of drivers that were set to take part, no further information had been released since March 28.
In the end, the only ones who had reported about it had been the people associated with the project themselves.
Kairos Technologies Arrives…
Known for its internet services, such as data transmission and cryptography, the English firm wanted to expand its activities in motorsports.
Kairos had initiated discussions with the Swiss team, which would have seen the company acquire 50 percent of the operation.
The money never materialized despite a strong presentation at Paul Ricard. Yet Kairios’ ambitions are high because of its desire to enter the LMP1 class next year, either with Toyota or Nissan.
In addition, Kairos has partnered with Greaves Motorsport, with the team now known as Greaves Motorsport secured by Kairos Technologies. The two entities started working together at Silverstone.
It’s believed that Team SARD-Morand could not rely on its partners, with insufficient funds for a global team that originally targeted the LMP2 World Championship.
The team now must move on without its second Morgan LMP2 EVO and Christian Klien, who has been a pillar of the Swiss squad for a number of years.
The main objective is to now secure the budget before running with a professional driver again. Decidedly, motorsport can be full of surprises…