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LMP2 Le Mans winner stripped of victory

Mat Coch

Tuesday 19th June, 2018 - 9:20am

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The #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 – Gibson pic: Jean-Eric Vergne Facebook page

The winning G-Drive LMP2 class entry has been stripped of its victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans after it was found to have used an illegal fuel rig.

Jean-Eric Vergne, Roman Rusinov, and Andrea Pizzitola won the class by two laps, but suspicions were raised when the Oreca 07 – Gibson was able to refuel significantly faster than its rivals.

Upon investigation of the fuel rig following the race, it was found the flow restrictor had been modified, allowing the car to be filled at a faster rate.

The stewards issued a bulletin on Monday confirming their findings.

“An additional machined part not featuring in the drawing is inserted into the flow restrictor, changing the wetted restrictor surface described by the regulatory drawing,” the statement read.

“The Technical Delegates provided the Stewards with photos of the restrictor, the referenced part and its assembly to the ‘dead man valve’.

“The contested part is a machined part that extends from the dead man valve and inserts inside the cone of the Flow Restrictor.

“The Technical Delegates stated to the Stewards that they started their investigation of the competitor’s refuelling system following the race when they noted the competitor was able to refuel significantly faster than any of their competitors.”

Over the course of the race the G-Drive Racing entry made 36 pit stops, for a total time of 41m 35.706s.

By contrast the #36 Signatech Alpine, which had finished second, spent more than five minutes longer in the lane for its 37 stops.

As a result, the LMP2 race winner and the TDS Racing sister car which finished fourth have both being disqualified from the event.

The LMP2 class victory therefore goes to the #36 Signatech Alpine, with the third placed #39 Graff-SO24 move up to second.

Having originally finished fifth, the United Autosports #32 entry takes the final podium place in class after the #28 TDS Racing entry had been classified fourth.

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