LE MANS: Larbre’s Sao Paulo WEC Exclusion Explained

For the second FIA World Endurance Championship race in a row, Larbre Competition’s No. 50 Corvette C6.R was excluded from the results after failing post-race technical inspection.

While an out-of-date fire extinguisher bottle saw Julien Canal, Patrick Bornhauser and Fernando Rees’ second place finish in the Six Hours of Silverstone get thrown out, the GTE-Am class-winning car in last weekend’s round at Interlagos was DQ’ed for not meeting the minimum ride height.

“Unfortunately, during post-race scrutineering, the FIA technical delegate found that the height of the No. 50 car’s front bumper was under by just 8mm, which was a consequence of the impact it suffered when leaving the track to avoid an accident on lap one,” team manager Jack Leconte explained.

“As the part did not have an obvious crack, the delegate decided to maintain his position and exclude the No. 50 for not being within the regulations. This was despite evidence supplied by the Larbre team and some ACO scrutineers, notably affixing the No. 70 car’s front bumper to the No. 50 and thus proving that the ride height was within the regulations.”

Having been notified of the exclusion hours after the podium, Leconte felt he had no other option than to appeal the decision and take it up with the FIA International Court.

“The officials, race director and chief stewards rushed the matter and did not take into account or even view images from the race where it can be clearly seen that the No. 50 left the ground at turn four, or its later right-front contact with the No. 7 Toyota,” he said.

“Irregularity and partiality in the judgement process has forced me to appeal the decision in front of the FIA International Court. The result of the appeal and the performance of the team during the coming races will unquestionably demonstrate the spirit of the Larbre team, who show their talents on the track.”

While points remain provisional pending the outcome of the court ruling, Larbre is still out front in the GTE-Am title race, thanks to the consistent results of its No. 70 Corvette, which inherited a second-place finish on Saturday.

The French squad enjoys a 22-point lead over Team Felbermayr-Proton, which has provisionally inherited Saturday’s class victory.

John Dagys is SPEED.com’s Sportscar Racing Reporter, focusing on all major domestic and international championships. You can follow him on Twitter @johndagys or email him at askdagys@gmail.com

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