Craft-Bamboo Racing has withdrawn its #99 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE from the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, due to damage sustained in the first practice qualifying session.
The driver of the car, Fernando Rees, was taken to the medical centre following the incident, which occurred at Porsche Curves, and was discharged with bruising to his ankle.
It was around the same area where Loïc Duval crashed his number 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro at around 170mph. Like Rees, Duval picked up minor injuries from the incident.
“The impact with the barrier was at high speed, so the most important thing is that Fernando is okay,” commented Richard Coleman CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing. “It is disappointing to have to withdraw from the race but the car cannot be fixed from here. Our mechanics worked relentlessly on the car throughout the night but it was impossible to restore it to the safety standards required for racing.”
It was a blow for the Craft-Bamboo team, after a hard fought 2013 Asian Le Mans campaign won the team a right of entry to the 2014 Le Mans race, which is now set to be done in vain.
A promising debut at Silverstone saw the Aston Martin show promise, before the race at Spa saw a fifth place finish and 10 points awarded to the team.
With the inability to build on the success at Le Mans, the team are now looking towards the rest of the calendar.
“We must now go forward and focus on the second half of the World Endurance Championship,” said Coleman. “We will not let this disrupt the incredibly positive start to the season and will continue to progress as a team going forward, with our sights set firmly on success.”
Therefore, it is expected that the #99 Aston Martin will return to the series in September for the 6 hours of the Circuit of the Americas to continue the WEC series.