G-Drive agrees to amend controversial ELMS line-up

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G-Drive agrees to amend controversial ELMS line-up
By: Gary Watkins
Mar 9, 2018, 2:26 PM

G-Drive Racing has agreed to add a silver-rated driver to its European Le Mans Series LMP2 roster "in the interests of everyone" involved in the championship.

#22 G-Drive Racing, Oreca 07 - Gibson: Memo Rojas, Ryo Hirakawa, Leo Roussel
#26 G-Drive Racing ORECA 07-Gibson: Roman Rusinov, Pierre Thiriet, James Rossiter
#22 G-Drive Racing, Oreca 07 - Gibson: Memo Rojas, Ryo Hirakawa, Leo Roussel
#26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: Roman Rusinov, Pierre Thiriet, Alex Lynn
#26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: Roman Rusinov, Pierre Thiriet, Alex Lynn
Giuliano Alesi, Trident
Giuliano Alesi, Trident
Andrea Pizzitola, Algarve Pro Racing
#13 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One AER: Alexandre Imperatori
#28 TDS Racing ORECA 07-Gibson: Francois Perrodo, Matthieu Vaxiviere, Emmanuel Collard

The team has decided to stand down Matthieu Vaxiviere, who was initially part of a contentious all-pro line-up alongside ex-Formula 1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne and Roman Rusinov.

G-Drive was looking to exploit a new rule inserted into the sporting rules for the series this year, which allowed teams to apply for dispensation to run driver line-ups outside of the regulatory requirements.

The rules demand that each LMP2 entry in both the ELMS and the FIA World Endurance Championship must include a silver or bronze-rated driver.

G-Drive technical director David Leach said the team was making a change for the "good of the championship".

"In the interests of everyone, we have agreed with the ACO and the ELMS that we will run a silver," he told Motorsport.com.

"The regulation is there and as a team you always want to do what is best for you, but there is a bigger story.

"G-Drive has been committed to ACO championships since 2012 and we want to do what is best for everyone and have a healthy relationship with our competitors."

The team is now evaluating silver-rated drivers to fill the spot vacated by Vaxiviere - and Giuliano Alesi, son of ex-Formula 1 race winner Jean, has emerged as a contender.

G-Drive gave the Ferrari F1 Academy driver and GP3 regular a try-out aboard an Oreca-Gibson 07 LMP2 during a Dunlop tyre test at Aragon this week.

Said Leach: "He's a young kid with a lot of potential, he went very well considering his level of experience and that it was his first time in a car with that level of performance.

"He's a candidate for the ELMS, along with anyone else who is a silver or a potential silver."

The team, which is partnered with TDS Racing, also gave try-outs to former Rebellion LMP1 driver Alexandre Imperatori and ELMS regular Andrea Pizzitola over the course of the Aragon test.

G-Drive, which decided against a full-season WEC programme this year, is nevertheless taking part in the Le Mans 24 Hours and Spa WEC rounds - for which Vaxiviere was never available, as he will be on duty in the P2 Oreca entered under TDS's own name.

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