Following a crash in the opening practice session of the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Dempsey-Proton team have been forced to withdraw the #99 car that was due to be driven by Tracy Krohn, Patrick Long and Niclas Jönsson.
Krohn suffered a high impact crash during the first practice on Wednesday between the two chicanes on the Mulsanne Straight. It was initially some confusion after the incident as it was thought that a LMP2 car was involved in an altercation but it was revealed that it was a standalone incident that involved no other cars.
The Dempsey-Proton team have been busy throughout the day preparing a new chassis in the hope that they would be able to get on track this evening after the original chassis was written off following the impact.
Unfortunately during the second qualifying session the team announced that they would be withdrawing the entry on the advice of doctors that he rest for at least a week before returning to a race track.
In a statement released by Krohn he said, “While it is a major disappointment for the Dempsey Proton Competition team, headed up by Christian Reid, on behalf of myself, and my regular co-driver, Nic Jonsson, we want to thank all of the team members for their valiant efforts.
“Many thanks to Patrick Long for making a super effort to be here with us for this race as he had to jump through a lot of hoops to even get to Scrutineering last Monday for the 24 Hours of Le Mans event, after his victory in GTD class at Sonoma l, California in the U.S. on Sunday. As well as making a special effort to get to Le Mans for the mandatory test day at LeMans on June 3, following a race in Detroit, Michigan on June 2.
“I respect the FIA decision as a safety precaution and look forward to competing again next year in this incredible and historic race.
“I wish to thank the medical professionals at the circuit and at the Hospital du Mans for the prompt and professional manner in which I was cared for, and of course, my wife, Laurie for her kind and loving support.
“This “temporary halt in driving protocol” is based on a generalization of high impact accidents that have occurred to other drivers in the past.
“The Porsche GTE SportsCar I was driving sustained significant damage but did its protective job and I am unharmed!! A great deal of engineering with regard to impact design, and thought with regard to the ergonomics of this spectacular racecar (yes, I believe racecar should only be oneword forwards and backwards) have once again proven to be the result of Porsche design and engineering.
“This is a really spectacular racecar and I have been very privileged to have driven it and look forward to doing so again in the not too distant future”.
With the news of the withdrawal it puts an end to Patrick Long’s run of back-to-back 24 Hours of Le Mans races with this year set to be his sixteenth consecutive appearance.
The grid for the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans now stands at 61 cars with the #99 Porsche no longer taking part.