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Lowdon: “No Comment” on Manor’s Lack of Running

CEFC TRSM Racing yet to comment on lack of running on Thursday at Spa…

Photo: MPS Agency

CEFC TRSM Racing has yet to comment on the developing situation that has seen both of its Ginetta G60-LT-P1 Mecachromes not complete any lap times in the opening day of track activity at Spa.

Both the Nos. 5 and 6 Ginettas were parked for the majority of the three hours of Free Practice for the FIA World Endurance Championship season-opening Total Six Hours of Spa, other than a single installation lap for both cars in each session.

Speculation has mounted to funding issues for the Chinese-backed team, likely from title sponsor CEFC, which is currently under government investigation.

According to Reuters, CEFC China Energy chairman Ye Jianming was detained by the Chinese government earlier this year, for suspected economic crimes related to its recent agreement to purchase a $9.1 billion stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft.

The U.S. government, meanwhile, charged its director, former Hong Kong home secretary Patrick Ho Chi-ping, with bribing African leaders and was also detained at one point.

When asked by Sportscar365 why the cars did not take part in either session on Thursday, Manor president and sporting director Graeme Lowdon declined comment.

It’s unclear if the entries will make an appearance for the remainder of the weekend.

CEFC graphics were visible on the No. 6 Ginetta of Oliver Rowland, Alex Brundle and Oliver Turvey as it went through scrutineering on Wednesday afternoon, nearly four hours late from its original appointment.

The team’s No. 5 car of Dean Stoneman, Leo Roussel and Ginetta factory driver Charlie Robertson, meanwhile, does not appear to have any CEFC logos and is understood to be an entry supported directly by the British constructor.

Should the cars not take the green flag in Saturday’s Total Six Hours of Spa, Sportscar365 believes it could result in an automatic forfeiture of its entries for next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

KCMG (LMP2) and Spirit of Race (GTE-Am) are first two reserve entries for the June 16-17 race.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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