G-Drive team loses Le Mans LMP2 win for illegal device in pitstops

The G-Drive Racing LMP2 team has been stripped of its class victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours for the use of an illegal device to speed up its refuelling stops

G-Drive team loses Le Mans LMP2 win for illegal device in pitstops

G-Drive's TDS Racing-run #26 Oreca driven by Roman Rusinov, Jean-Eric Vergne and Andrea Pizzitola romped to class honours in the French classic, enjoying a faultless run to win by two laps.

However, it was found subsequently by the technical delegates that the Russian outfit had fitted an illegal part to its refuelling rig in order to speed up its pitstops.

It means the #36 Signatech Alpine Oreca of Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Pierre Thiriet inherits victory, ahead of the #39 Graff-SO24 entry shared by Vincent Capillaire, Jonathan Hirschi and Tristan Gommendy.

A stewards' bulletin issued on Monday evening read: "The technical delegates issued a report to the stewards that "an additional machined part not featuring in the drawing is inserted into the flow restrictor, changing the wetted restrictor surface described by the regulatory drawing".

"The technical delegates provided the stewards with photos of the restrictor, the referenced part and its assembly to the "dead man valve".

"The contested part is a machined part that extends from the dead man valve and inserts inside the cone of the flow restrictor.

"The technical delegates stated to the stewards that they started their investigation of the competitor's refuelling system following the race when they noted the competitor was able to refuel significantly faster than any of their competitors."

As well as the Signatech Alpine trio (pictured above) inheriting victory and the Graff car taking third, the disqualification of the second TDS car promotes the fifth-place LMP2 finisher to the podium.

United Autosports' #32 Ligier of Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer takes the final podium slot as the TDS offence also applies to the #28 car that narrowly missed out on a podium finish in the hands of Loic Duval, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Francois Perrodo.

The G-Drive team will appeal the decision.

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