Sebastien Loeb Racing has withdrawn its entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The French squad was set to enter an Oreca 03-Nissan in the LMP2 category, but has now decided to pull its entry after a sponsor pulled out of the project.
“It was a difficult decision to make, but we’ve always said that we wanted to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the best possible conditions, “ said Sebastien Loeb Racing’s team manager Dominique Heintz. “It was planned that a sponsor joined our group of partners but they have unfortunately pulled out. The first step was to make the entry request, the second was to be selected. The last step was to finalise the project, which was made impossible by this withdrawal.”
The late withdrawal of the backer also means that Sebastien Loeb Racing will not compete in the European Le Mans Series. The team will however continue its GT project in the FIA GT Series and GT Tour. Franck Montagny and Nicolas Marroc, who were set to race the LMP2 car in the ELMS and at Le Mans, will race for the team in the French GT Tour.
Dominique Heintz confirmed the team is already looking at options to race at Le Mans in 2014. “We sincerely regret the situation : the team was very motivated by this challenge and stays motivated for the future. We would like to thank the ACO for their vote of confidence,” added Heintz “Le Mans remains an important objective for us and we are starting the work today to be there in 2014 in accordance with our ambitions.“
It is the second withdrawal after Extreme Speed Motorsports withdrew its Ferrari last month. The first team on the LMP reserve list, Swiss squad Race Performance, will now be invited to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its Oreca 03-Judd.