Further Stewards decisions continue to emerge from the Le Mans 24 Hours with the latest batch dealing with LMP2 and the dramatic news emerging that both the winning, and fourth-placed cars, both fielded by top French team TDS Racing, have been disqualified after irregularities were discovered in the team’s fuelling rigs.
The apparent ability of the team to fuel both of their cars faster than their competitors had already been pointed out earlier today by more than one other LMP2 team with a margin of 6-8 seconds.
The Stewards decision makes it clear that the team had fitted an additional machined part into the fuel system assembly that is not specified in the regulatory drawings that was designed to defeat the purpose of the fuel fill restrictor.
TDS Racing has mounted a defence claiming that the assembly as presented complies with the regulations, in particular because the regulations do not specifically outlaw the addition of additional parts.
This defence has been rejected and both cars have been excluded from the results subject to appeal from the team.
As things stand then the winning #26 G-Drive Racing car of Roman Rusinov, Andrea Pizzitola and Jean-Eric Vergne is excluded and the new class winner is the #36 Signatech Alpine of Nicholas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and (perhaps ironically) ex TDS driver Pierre Thiriet.
Moving up to a provisional second place is the #39 Graff/ SO24 Oreca 07 Gibson of Vincent Capillaire, Jonathan Hirschi and Tristan Gommendy and inheriting third is the #32 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 of Will Owen, Hugo de Sadeleer and Juan Pablo Montoya.
The #32 leapfrogs two cars in the standings with the same basis for a stewards decision also applied to the exclusion of the #28 TDS Racing ORECA, initially placed fourth which gets an additional reprimand for the team after a skid plank infringement.
The Stewards decisions in full are attached below: