In reaction to Philippe Cimadomo having been prohibited from entering the 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans, TDS Racing x Vaillante has drafted in Nyck De Vries as his replacement.
The exclusion of Cimandomo from the race came after heavy impact with the barriers in third practice at Porsche Curves where the Frenchman nearly wiped out the LMP2 pole-sitting #31 WRT. Sean Gelal was in the car at the time and luckily escaped with no damage after Cimandomo caught the rear right of the ORECA. The TDS driver was overtaking traffic when he swerved across the track, spinning off to make heavy impact with the Armco barriers.
The team spent the rest of Thursday rebuilding the car, only to find out that Cimandomo was banned for racing (this event only) in the late hours of the evening. It was a last minute call to bring De Vries in as the third driver, but even that might not be enough to get the car to the grid for the 2022 rendition of the prestigious race.
De Vries, who has partaken in the past three 24 Hours of Le Mans, has no remaining night sessions to meet the required minimum laps set in the dark. This will mean his entry to the race will be under special acceptances from the race director, stewards and marshals. The team have also had to request to be made and LMP2 team rather than Pro/Am as De Vries is a platinum classed driver, so there is no Am on board the #13 anymore (Cimandomo was the Bronze driver).
Being that both requests and exception are approved, De Vries will still have to set a minimum of three laps during Saturday’s warm up to be allowed into the race.
From prospects yesterday, it is looking more likely all 62 cars will take to the track for the race start on Saturday, but TDS and De Vries still have a few hoops to jump through to make it happen.