Team's Porsche RSR hoping to make the 45-minute warmup Saturday
WeatherTech Racing is working overtime to get the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche RSR prepared in time for the 45-minute warm-up in advance of the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans that will take the green flag at 3 p.m. local time tomorrow, June 14.
An hour into the beginning of yesterday's final practice Bret Curtis (Lake Sherwood, Calif.) had the wheel of the WeatherTech Racing Porsche RSR when he entered the Dunlop Curves and went into the tire wall on driver's right. The resulting hit and damage was severe forcing the ProSpeed Competition crew to find an alternative chassis to be able to compete in the twice around the clock French classic race on Saturday.
In addition to an alternative chassis, the FIA doctors would not approve Curtis to continue driving. The team has recruited French driver Sebastien Crubile (Paris) to replace Curtis and join Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) for the race. Crubile, a resident of Paris, has Le Mans experience and is classified as a Bronze driver.
"First we are glad that Bret is ok," MacNeil said. "Racing is all about overcoming adversity to reach the finish line and we have had more than our share this weekend. We didn't do the test and I have had about seven laps so far, however I am very familiar with the Porsche and I will be fine for the race. ProSpeed is doing a great job with the car and I am sure we will be right where we left off when we take it out for the warm-up tomorrow morning. We are going to use this little set back as motivation for a full day of racing come Saturday."
Bleekemolen remains confident in the team and the driver line-up.
"I am happy that Bret is fine, yet sad that he won't be able to drive with us," Bleekemolen said. "Le Mans is a tough place and like we have seen this week any little mistake can be costly. Rudi Penders and his ProSpeed guys are working very hard to get the car ready for tomorrow and I have every faith that when I take it out for the warm-up it will be a great car. We are still very confident that we will get a good result and we will be ready for 24 hours of racing. Sebastien is a good driver and we welcome him to the WeatherTech Porsche and we will get him some laps in the warm-up."
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be televised live, in its entirety, on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 starting on Saturday, June 14 at 8:30 a.m. ET.