Le Mans 24 Hours down to 55 cars as Millennium LMP2 team withdraws
|By Gary Watkins||Saturday, June 7th 2014, 15:14 GMT|
The Millennium Racing LMP2 team has pulled out of next weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours.
The squad run by Delta-ADR was forced to withdraw its solo ORECA-Nissan 03 from the Le Mans test day last weekend, but was still trying to take part in the World Endurance Championship blue riband on June 14/15.
It extended its deadline for the arrival of its funding from backer Millennium Development until today and then made the decision not to leave for France ahead of its Monday scrutineering slot when that deadline passed.
Team principal Simon Dowson said: "We waited as long as we possibly could: the truck was packed and all the team were ready to go, but finally we received confirmation that the funding would not arrive until mid next week.
"With the delays we have already experienced, we have no option than to wait."
Delta-ADR, which won LMP2 in five of the eight races in last year's WEC, made two entries for the 2014 series under the Millennium banner, but was forced to miss the first two rounds at Silverstone and Spa and withdraw from Le Mans courtesy of its funding issues.
It was subsequently re-admitted to the Le Mans list with a solo car after further withdrawals meant that all the reserves gained firm entries.
Dowson said that the team would begin planning for its return to the WEC as soon as the funding was in place.
He explained that the team expects to contest the Spielberg round of the European Le Mans Series in July with at least one car.
"We don't want to turn up at Austin as our first race of the season, because our drivers will need track time," said Dowson.
Millennium's withdrawal means there will be just 55 entries going into Le Mans week.