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Monday, September 27, 2021

IDEC Sport withdraws #17 LMP2 entry after Le Mans observe shunt

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The automotive that was resulting from be shared by Ryan Dalziel, Thomas Laurent and Dwight Merriman has been scratched from the entry for the French endurance basic after American beginner driver Merriman’s shunt approaching the Dunlop chicane.

It means the LMP2 class is right down to 24 automobiles, and the entire grid to 61 automobiles, for the World Endurance Championship blue riband.

The choice follows a tumultuous week for the Period Motorsport-backed IDEC entry, which started when Merriman’s common IMSA co-driver Kyle Tilley was pressured to withdraw from the #17 line-up with a shoulder damage.

Period’s assertion revealed {that a} alternative driver was discovered, just for the unnamed particular person to check Positive for COVID-19, earlier than 2017 LMP2 class winner and ex-Rebellion LMP1 driver Laurent was subsequently drafted in.

The workforce had already been pressured to rebuild its ORECA 07 Gibson round a spare tub following an Merriman’s accident throughout final Sunday’s check day, however was capable of full Wednesday’s pair of observe classes and first qualifying with out main dramas, securing sixteenth on the LMP2 grid.

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Nonetheless, Merriman’s crash on Thursday prompted the ultimate resolution to withdraw the automotive.

It marks the second yr in a row that Merriman has missed the race, after he was withdrawn from the lineup last year following a Free Practice 2 crash and changed by Porsche veteran Patrick Pilet.

“It is heartbreaking to be pulling out of Le Mans earlier than we even received an opportunity to race, however I do know we’re doing the appropriate factor,” stated Tilley.

#17 IDEC Sport Oreca 07 – Gibson LMP2 of Dwight Merriman, Kyle Tilley, Ryan Dalziel

Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“We had excessive hopes going into the occasion, however with a handful of unlucky occasions within the span of some days, this yr’s race week has been a continuing uphill battle.

“After a last-minute driver swap, a brand new chassis, and a second on-track incident, we needed to make the robust name: If we do not really feel one hundred pc assured going into this race, we really feel we have now the accountability to our opponents to not run.”

The sister IDEC Sport automotive, the #48 machine of Pilet, Paul Lafargue and Paul-Loup Chatin, secured tenth on the LMP2 grid on Wednesday after Chatin’s high-speed off at Tetre Rouge.

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