The No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 Gibson will be forced to serve a three-minute penalty in next month’s FIA World Endurance Championship race at the Nürburgring, following a terminal incident by Roman Rusinov in the opening stages of last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Rusinov was deemed at fault for an incident involving the No. 88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR of Khaled Al Qubaisi at the Porsche Curves, which brought end to both cars’ races in the opening hour.
According to a statement from the stewards, “Car 26 was approaching Car 88 at about a 60 km/h difference in speed” with Al Qubaisi having not received any blue flags, and “no chance” the Emirati driver could have moved off-line.
The stewards determined that the incident was “completely the fault” of Rusinov, who had been involved in two previous incidents during the event where the driver committed a “serious fault.”
It included driving in the opposite direction of the track, without the approval of a marshal, and entering the pit outside the slip road in the opening hour, after a spin.
Rusinov was due to receive a ten-minute stop-and-hold penalty for that incident, although escaped penalty for driving off the weigh scale without instructions to leave in Free Practice on Wednesday.
“When you drive an LMP2 on this track, you are overtaking at all time and you have to take some risks if you want to be fast,” Rusinov said.
“That’s what I did, and I thought the car I was overtaking would let me pass, he went to the side, but in the end, he did not, and it was the end for both of us.
“Of course it’s a real deception, but I mostly feel sorry for the team crew and my teammates. We did not deserve that. Finishing a 24-hour race after two hours, is definitely not what we came here for. ”
The TDS Racing-run car, which claimed LMP2 victory in last month’s round at Spa and scored class pole at Le Mans in the hands of Alex Lynn, will face a three-minute stop-and-hold penalty at the Six Hours of Nürburgring, to be served in the race.
An additional three-minute penalty has been suspended for the following three WEC rounds subject to “driver compliance within the coding driver conduct and other driving regulations.”
With Lynn missing the Nürburgring race due to his Formula E commitments in New York City, it’s unclear who will partner Rusinov and Pierre Thiriet at the wheel of the LMP2 entry for the fourth round of the season.
Laurens Vanthoor, who was tipped to fill the seat for the German event, said they did not come to an agreement for the race, with the Porsche GT factory driver set to focus on his commitments in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.