Algarve Pro Racing has been promoted to seventh and is subsequently classified as the top Pro-Am finisher in the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans (19-20 September).
The Portugal-based team was eighth in LMP2 with the #25 ORECA 07 of John Falb, Simon Trummer and Matt McMurry at the chequered flag but has since been elevated to seventh, as Cool Racing has received a penalty for exceeding maximum driving time regulations with the #42 car of Nicolas Lapierre, Antonin Borga and Alexandre Coigny.
Among the many things engineers monitor throughout the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the minimum and maximum driving time for each of their three drivers, as this is strictly controlled by FIA and Automobile Club de l‘Ouest (ACO) officials for safety reasons and the wellbeing of the drivers.
In LMP1, LMP2 and LMGTE Am, a driver must not complete less than six hours during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but regulations also dictate that drivers cannot drive for more than four hours within a six-hour period, and for a maximum of 14 hours in total.
Cool Racing’s Am driver Coigny exceeded the permitted four hours in a six-hour period by 2m03.880s, which has been added to the #42 crew’s overall race time, elevating Algarve Pro to seventh in the final Le Mans classification.
As the top six LMP2 finishers are entirely composed of Platinum, Gold and Silver-graded drivers, Gold-ranked Trummer, Silver-rated McMurry and Bronze-classified Falb are first of the true Pro-Am line-ups.
John Falb (#25 Algarve Pro Racing ORECA 07 LMP2): “To place seventh in the 24 Hours of Le Mans among the largest and most competitive LMP2 field in the world is truly amazing. To win a race in LMP2, you really do need an almost all-Pro driver line-up, but anything can and often does happen in 24-hour races and this one was no exception. Our crew was flawless throughout and Algarve Pro Racing gave us an extremely well prepared and balanced car. These guys are battle-hardened veterans of the sport and deserve a massive thank you. It’s disappointing that the top Pro-Am team gets no recognition at Le Mans, and I also wish we could have shared our success with our supporters, family and friends, but the result is still worth celebrating.”
Simon Trummer (#25 Algarve Pro Racing ORECA 07 LMP2): “Finishing seventh in LMP2 as the top Pro-Am car is an amazing achievement. Seventh is the best we could have hoped for, and it’s a result we felt was unlikely going into Le Mans week, considering we’re Bronze, Silver and Gold-graded drivers and many of the other less experienced drivers in the field were partnered by paid Platinums. While I’m sure Cool Racing didn’t exceed the maximum driving time on purpose, it’s good for us. We did everything right and were on-pace with the majority in our class, therefore we deserve the result.”
Algarve Pro Racing Team Principal, Stewart Cox, said: “Being seventh and the top Pro-Am team at the end of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a huge, historic achievement for Algarve Pro Racing. This result has come without a paid Platinum driver in the car, and that’s hugely significant. John (Falb), Simon (Trummer) and Matt (McMurry) each brought something to the table, driving flawlessly throughout the 24 hours, even while involved in some fraught on-track battles. Also, the #25 ORECA 07 ran perfectly and there were no mistakes in strategy or during the pit stops, which is testament to our preparation as a team. This is a massive result for a team with a Bronze, Silver and Gold sharing a car, and it’s something we’re really proud of.”