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Rigon Ruled Out of Le Mans; Bird Expected to Join Ferrari Crew

Davide Rigon ruled out of Le Mans on doctors’ advice; Bird expected to sub…

Photo: MPS Agency

Ferrari GTE-Pro driver Davide Rigon has been ruled out of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on doctors’ advice after his recent heavy accident at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa.

Rigon’s seat in the No. 52 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo is expected to be taken up by Sam Bird, who has been included on the latest entry lists for both the official test day and the race next weekend. Bird is unavailable for the test day due to a Formula E clash.

Rigon was taken to hospital after being involved in a major accident during the opening hour of the race at Spa on July 31.

The Ferrari factory driver’s Iron Lynx 488 GT3 Evo 2020 was one of four vehicles caught up in the accident at Raidillon, which resulted in Rigon requiring a back brace support.

Following consultation with doctors in Italy and Ferrari’s sports car racing program management, the 34-year-old has been stood down from Le Mans as a precaution.

“With great regret, I will not be able to be at Le Mans driving the No. 52,” said Rigon in a post on Instagram.

“Together with the doctors and Ferrari, we made this difficult decision. Right now I’m working to get back to 100 percent as soon as possible.

“I wish my teammates and the whole team good luck.”

A Ferrari spokesperson told Sportscar365 that “nothing is official” regarding Bird’s place in the No. 52 car alongside FIA World Endurance Championship drivers Miguel Molina and Daniel Serra, but the Englishman’s inclusion on two entry lists points to him as Rigon’s likely replacement.

The third member of the No. 52 crew will be announced “in the coming days,” according to the spokesperson.

Bird, who was a full-time member of the AF Corse factory team’s GTE-Pro setup for three seasons,  joined Molina and Rigon as an additional driver at Le Mans last year.

Their No. 71 Ferrari was running until the final lap when it encountered a gearbox failure.

Bird and Rigon previously worked together as WEC co-drivers, until Molina stepped into Bird’s full-time role for the 2019-20 campaign. Serra assumed Rigon’s place this year.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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