Fernando Rees has left the Larbre Competition LMP2 squad two weeks before the start of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship.
The Brazilian driver announced his withdrawal from the upcoming ‘Super Season’ in an Instagram post, citing team sponsorship complications as the main reason.
Rees was originally slated to co-drive the team’s Ligier JS P217 Gibson with Romano Ricci and Erwin Creed.
The 33-year-old’s replacement has not been confirmed, although Thomas Dagoneau and Romain Brandela both recently sampled the Ligier at the pre-season Prologue test.
“Unfortunately, the team suffered the loss of a major sponsor, and the way they found to fill that hole in the budget was by putting a paying pilot to run in my place,” said Rees on social media.
“I became an expense, and they needed a new source of income. It’s not a good situation for anyone involved – we all lose out, no one comes out unharmed.
“I’m very grateful to have my Lamborghini program in parallel. At the moment, my whole focus will be on that.”
Rees, who was part of the Aston Martin Racing factory setup from 2014-2016, claimed the GTE-Am pole at last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Larbre Competition Corvette C7.R.
His first appearance with Larbre was a victory at the 2007 Mil Milhas Brasil in a GT1 class Aston Martin DBR9.
Despite losing his WEC drive, Rees will continue to have a full-time role in the International GT Open series with the Ombra Racing Lamborghini squad.