Status GP withdraws from FIA WEC Spa event
Status Grand Prix has withdrawn its LMP2 car from the Spa round of the FIA World Endurance Championship following a serious accident in the second free practice session on Thursday, and will now concentrate on preparations for next month’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
The team’s Lola-Judd B12/80 Coupe crashed at the fast Raidillon corner at the top of Eau Rouge and suffered extensive damage. Status GP regular driver Alexander Sims emerged unharmed from the 6G impact with the tire barriers, and was subsequently passed fit by the FIA medical delegate.
The Status GP crew promptly set to work on the car, but having assessed the situation it was deemed that the car cannot be repaired on site in order to compete in Saturday’s six-hour endurance race. The FIA were then informed that regrettably it has been forced to withdraw from the event.
The Silverstone-based team, which is competing full-time in the European Le Mans Series this year, is now focusing on continuing its preparations for its debut at next month’s Le Mans 24 Hours, which commences with the official Le Mans Test Day on June 3.
The Status GP car had already shown its potential during the first day of practice on its FIA WEC debut. Sims set the second fastest time among the competitive 18-strong LMP2 class in Free Practice 1, before new team-mate Romain Iannetta quickly got up to speed on his first run in the Judd-powered Coupe.
Then in FP2, Dutch driver Yelmer Buurman set the fifth fastest time during an impressive race simulation run on used Dunlop tires, before Sims suffered his accident at the end of the session.
Status GP team manager Simon Cayzer said: “It’s clearly disappointing for all at Status GP, our drivers, sponsors and technical partners, to not be participating in Saturday’s race here at Spa. However, the most important thing is that Alexander is OK, and we pay tribute to Lola for the car’s integrity in the accident.
“We believe our Lola-Judd is a very competitive package, and we were looking forward to racing against the LMP2 competition in the FIA WEC. We accepted the invitation to compete here as part of our preparations for Le Mans. We have gained some useful data with the 500km of running we completed here at Spa yesterday, and we are continuing from here to optimize everything for Le Mans.”