Amidst the global reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, G-Drive Racing has withdrawn from the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The team was due to celebrate its ten-year anniversary of international racing in 2022 with one full season LMP2 entry confirmed to be driven by Daniil Kvyat, Rene Binder and James Allen. A second car had been confirmed to be making it a duo of G-Drives for the 24 Hours of Le Mans entry. However, as of today, both cars have been removed from the WEC and Le Mans entry lists.
The second car was due to have team owner Roman Rusinov as one of the drivers. In an Instagram post on Saturday, he refused to accept the FIA’s conditions to race, claiming them as ‘discriminatory’: “Today, I, the driver of the Russian G-Drive Racing team, refuse to accept the discriminatory conditions of the FIA. The goal of each athlete is to hear the anthem of their country on the podium. Over ten years of international experience, our team has done this many times. We raised the Russian flag, we heard and sang the Russian [national] anthem.
“For the sake of my fans, for the sake of my team mates and sporting honor, I will not sign this document. Better not to drive at all.”
Following this stance on Saturday, today the team offered the following statement: “G-Drive Racing was actively preparing for the anniversary season, which promised to be the most eventful in the history of the team. The lineup of pilots was reinforced by the most successful Russian Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat.
“This season, G-Drive Racing will focus more on motorsport events in Russia. Further plans of the team will be announced later.”
The announcement only refers to the team’s WEC and Le Mans entries, and says nothing of plans for the European Le Mans Series car. The driver line-up was due to include Rusinov and Sophie Floresch, but if Rusinov’s personal opinion on the matter is to be taken into account it is likely that this car will also not make it onto the grid and will be withdrawn from international racing.