Racing team Holland and High Class Racing responded to the reserve roster at the 24 Hours of Le Mans after winning the race last year, with both teams saying they were considering withdrawing their participations.
Both teams have been a regular presence in the LMP2 class of the French classic endurance championship in recent years through the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series programmes.
Both teams have chosen to transfer their efforts to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and will now not compete at Le Mans unless one or more of the 62 confirmed entries are drawn.
Dutch Racing owner/driver Frits van Erd has expressed his surprise at ACO’s decision to put the Dutch team on the reserve list and indicated that he plans to withdraw his participation before the end of the month if his status does not change.
If that happens, the team will not attend the event for the first time since its inception in 2017.
“It’s also a big surprise for us,” Van Erdt told Sportscar365. “If we’re not on the list by the end of next week, I’m going to drop myself off the list.
‘I don’t want to be a backup. Neither am I. So we wait another week. Let’s see what happens.’
The bronze-ranked driver expressed his disappointment with the situation, although he was quick to make it his own, noting the large number of entries coming from the ACO running series that made up the bulk of the car’s 62 participants.
“On the business side, I can understand why this is happening,” he said. “There are a lot of WEC and ELMS entries and when you add that, you get a full list of participants.
“Why are they listing cars that don’t do ACO events? Even from a business point of view I can understand that.
Emotionally this is a bit strange. We are world champions [in LMP2 Pro-Am] And we’ve brought a lot of fans to Le Mans.
We also guarantee that it can be watched on TV for 24 hours in the Netherlands. But I can live with it.”
Van Erdt said not participating in Le Mans did not make him question his decision to leave the WEC in favor of the WeatherTech Championship.
“I am completely happy,” he explained. Honestly, we never intended to do Lehmann’s when we started at IMSA.
“From a business point of view, it’s very difficult to do eight races in the US.
“That is why we made the decision to participate in the Michelin Cup of Endurance. These are four races, the four long-distance races.
“It gave us the opportunity to watch Le Mans and that’s why we made this decision.
“But most importantly, we have decided to launch IMSA [just] Do IMSA. Plowman doesn’t do that.”
Magnussen wrote ‘Shame on Danish fans’
Like Team Van Eerd, the Danish High Class has also traded the WEC’s LMP2 class for a program in the WeatherTech Championship.
The team led by Anders Feuerdbach submitted some entries, including stepfather and son Jan and Kevin Magnussen who appeared on the network last year.
Magnussen’s #49 Oreca 07 Gibson, which she shares with Mark Patterson, is listed as her first reservation, while her other car is currently the sixth and final spare entry.
However, the chances of Kevin returning to Jan in the squad faded with the week the entry list was announced, when it was announced that the 29-year-old would return to Formula 1, which will clash with Le Mans this year.
Unlike his Dutch counterpart, Fjordbach isn’t surprised to see his team’s demands so high, but he thinks it’s bad news for La Sarthe’s Danish fan base.
“I don’t know if I would call it a surprise,” Feuerdbach told Sportscar365. “We are somewhat disappointed.
“So we didn’t want to put ourselves in a situation where we could be surprised or disappointed again.
“I think it’s a huge shame because I think about 20 per cent of the spectators at Le Mans are Danes because of the legacy of Tom Christensen and Jan Magnussen, who drove there 23 consecutive years.
“Fortunately I am not disappointed or surprised. But I think it is a huge loss for Danish viewers. Kevin is our biggest celebrity in Denmark.”
“I think if Yan and Kevin were racing, there would probably be 40,000 more spectators than if they weren’t. But then again, I don’t know from what perspective they choose.
“I also saw Roberto Lacorte (Cetellar Racing) and Frits [van Eerd] There is no one, which is very unfortunate.
“I know not everyone can attend, but that’s a shame, because they were also regular customers.
“We’ve even tried to go to Asia to show that we still trust ACO.”
Like Van Erd, Feuerdbach says he is also considering removing his record from the reserve list.
“I think this is something everyone is thinking about because being on the reserve list is a nightmare,” he explained.
“It is really a nightmare to go there. Because there is a lot of work and it is very difficult to do.
“When you know it’s really hard to do your best to do everything perfectly, and when everyone gets 30 or 40 days, it’s really hard.”
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