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Gounon steps in for injured Habsburg at Alpine for WEC Spa 6 Hours

Jules Gounon will again substitute for Ferdinand Habsburg at the Alpine Hypercar squad in this weekend’s Spa round of the World Endurance Championship.

#35 Alpine Endurance Team Alpine A424: Paul-Loup Chatin, Jules Gounon, Charles Milesi

Photo by: Emanuele Clivati | AG Photo

The French manufacturer’s reserve driver will race the #35 Alpine A424 LMDh for a second race in a row as Habsburg continues to recover from the back injuries sustained in testing at the end of March

Habsburg was initially listed in the car alongside Charles Milesi and Paul-Loup Chatin on the publication late last month of the entry list for the Belgian round of the WEC, but his name has now been replaced by Gounon’s. 

It is understood that the decision has been made for Habsburg to fully focus on his recovery and then rebuilding fitness in time for the Le Mans 24 Hours WEC round on 15-16 June. 

Habsburg fractured two lumbar vertebrae during an Alpine pre-Le Mans endurance test at MotorLand Aragon and was subsequently ruled out of last month’s Imola WEC round. 

Alpine team boss Philippe Sinault hinted at the Italian race that Habsburg could be fit in time for the Spa 6 Hours on 11 May, saying that he was “expecting good news”. 

The accident in which Habsburg sustained the injuries resulted from a technical failure, which Alpine has yet to explain, at Turn 7 of the Spanish facility. 

Proton Competition Porsche driver Harry Tincknell will miss Spa as expected, despite appearing on the original version of the entry list. 

It has been decided by his employer, Multimatic Motorsports, that his GT Daytona Pro class campaign with Ford in the IMSA SportsCar Championship will take precedence over the WEC programme with Proton.

That means the Briton will be at Laguna Seca this weekend racing a Multimatic-run Ford Mustang GT3 alongside full-season team-mate Mike Rockenfeller. 

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Tincknell’s absence means that Neel Jani and Julien Andlauer will race the car as a duo. 

The #99 entry will be one of five cars in the 19-strong Hypercar class entry with only two drivers for the six-hour race. 

Confirmation that Peugeot would not be replacing Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne, who will be on duty with DS Penske in the Berlin Formula E Championship event, for Spa came with the publication of the entry list last month.

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