Last Friday, ARC Bratislava was hoping its Ligier JSP217 would be selected by the ACO for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2018. Unfortunately, the Slovak team ended up eigth on a reserve list of nine cars and are therefore almost certain not to return to Le Mans where the team’s entry was accepted last year.
Team Principal Miro Konopka was very disappointed by the outcome of the selection process and did not hold back in a press release over the weekend:
“We did everything we could to return to Le Mans. We are the eighth reserve team and we don’t stand a chance of taking the race’s start. We finished third overall in the LMP2 category of the Asian Le Mans Series. Well, the other teams in fourth [Jackie Chan DC Racing], fifth [Eurasia Motorsport] and sixth [Algarve Pro] position got their invites. There is probably a point I am missing with the selection rules,” he said.
“Our time in [Le Mans’s] LMP2 category seems to have come to an end. I do not see any reason for it anymore. I’m not into this for business but for fun. We would have considered this a fair decision had the teams that finished behind us in Asia not been selected either.
“I think that I will continue [to compete] in the [European or Asian Le Mans] Series, but being at Le Mans with a Slovak team is now part of history. Taking the start [at Le Mans] under a Slovak banner [in 2017] was already a miracle. It feels like such unfinished business because of the multiple technical problems we encountered with our Ligier. [The car ended up in 47th position overall, some 53 laps behind the winning car.] Now, I know that choosing this Ligier JS P217 was a big mistake.”
“I would like to thank the Slovak and Czech fans, who were fantastic supporters of our efforts both at home and on track. I want to thank my whole team, my guys, who have done so much too,” he added.