Holland Racing Team and High Class Racing have responded to the 24 Hours of Le Mans reserve list after winning the race last year, with both teams saying they were considering withdrawing their entries.
The two teams have been regularly present in the LMP2 category of the French classic endurance championship in recent years through the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series programs.
Both teams have elected to shift 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 expressed surprise at the ACO’s decision to put the Dutch team on the reserve list and said he planned to withdraw his participation before the end of the months if his status did not change.
If that happens, the team will not participate in 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 from the list.
“I don’t want to be a substitute. Neither do 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 from the ACO racing series which made up the bulk of the 62 entrants in the car.
“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 entrants.
“Why do they list cars that don’t do ACO events? Even from a business perspective, I can understand that.
Emotionally, it’s a bit strange. We are world champions [in LMP2 Pro-Am] And we 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 skipping Le Mans didn’t make him question his decision to leave the WEC in favor of the WeatherTech championship.
“I’m completely happy,” he explained. Honestly, we never intended to do Lehmann when we started at IMSA.
“From a commercial point of view, it is very difficult to do eight races in the United States.
“That’s why we decided to take part in the Michelin Cup of Endurance. These are four races, the four distance races.
“It gave us the opportunity to watch Le Mans and that’s why we made this decision.
“But above all, we decided to launch IMSA [just] Do IMSA. Plowman doesn’t do that.
Magnussen wrote “Shame on the Danish fans”
Like Team Van Eerd, the Danish High Class has also swapped the LMP2 category of the WEC for a program in the WeatherTech championship.
The team led by Anders Feuerdbach submitted a few entries, including his 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 car.
However, the chances of Kevin returning Jan to the squad dimmed with the week the entry list was announced, when it was announced the 29-year-old would return to Formula 1, who will face Le Mans this year.
Unlike his Dutch counterpart, Fjordbach isn’t surprised to see his team’s demands being so high, but he thinks it’s bad news for Danish fans in La Sarthe.
“I don’t know if I would call it a surprise,” Feuerdbach told Sportscar365. “We are a bit 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 real shame because I think around 20% of the spectators at Le Mans are Danes because of the legacy of Tom Christensen and Jan Magnussen, who drove there for 23 consecutive years.
“Fortunately, I am neither disappointed nor surprised. But I think it’s 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 again, I don’t know from what perspective they choose.
“I also saw Roberto Lacorte (Cetellar Racing) and Frits [van Eerd] There is nobody, it is a pity.
“I know not everyone can attend, but that’s a shame because they were also regular customers.
“We 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 it’s something everyone thinks about because being on the reserve list is a nightmare,” he explained.
“It really is 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 difficult to do your best to do everything perfectly, and when everyone has 30 or 40 days, it’s really difficult.”