The final result for the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 class is set to be confirmed in September, when the the FIA Court of Appeal will make its final ruling on the post-race disqualification of the G-Drive Racing and TDS Racing ORECAs.
G-Drive Racing’s #26 (run by TDS) and TDS Racing’s #28 ORECA 07 Gibsons were excluded from first and fourth in the classification on the Monday following the Le Mans 24 Hours, after being found to have breached the technical regulations. As it stands, Signatech Alpine Matmut is the provisional class winner, its A470 of Nicolas Lapierre, Pierre Thiriet and Andre Negrao promoted from second.
Both TDS-run cars were found to have competed in the race with modified fuel rigs, including the insertion of an additional component intended to defeat the fuel fill rate restrictor, which saw them able to fuel their cars 6-8 seconds quicker at each stop than their competitors (the G-Drive car pitted 37 times). This is something which the ACO and FIA state is illegal because it gave the team an unfair advantage at the end of each stint.
While the regulations do not state specifically that teams cannot modify the fuel rigs in the manner that TDS Racing’s crews did, Article 2.1.1 of the Technical Regulations states that “what is not expressly permitted by the present regulations is prohibited.”
In a related note, ahead of this weekend’s ELMS 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring, the ACO released a bulletin explaining that an unnamed team had asked for clarification regarding the refueling system, and whether or not “the addition of a part between the restrictor and the dead-man value” is permitted.
In response, the ELMS Committee has ruled that due to Article 2.1.1 that “the request to add a part between the restrictor and dead-man valve is rejected.”
DSC believes that following the bulletin, TDS Racing (including its G-Drive customer) has changed its fuel rigs for this weekend’s race.