No 'Garage 56' entry at Le Mans in 2018

There will be no 'Garage 56' entry for an experimental car at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

No 'Garage 56' entry at Le Mans in 2018

Race organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest has revealed that no experimental entry will be on the entry list for the French enduro on June 16/17 when it is revealed later today.

ACO president Pierre Fillon told Motorsport.com: "There will not be a 'Garage 56' entry this year because there is no serious project."

He stressed that it was a challenging time to attract an entry because a manufacturer taking the slot "needs to commit to racing LMP1 [in the FIA World Endurance Championship in the future] and for a privateer it is difficult to finance".

He said that the ACO remained committed to the 'Garage 56' concept and hoped to have a programme in place for 2019.

Don Panoz's Green4U all-electric prototype project announced at Le Mans last year is still on-going, now with the aiming of filling the experimental entry in 2019.

Green4U technical boss Brian Willis told Motorsport.com: "In discussions with the ACO and the FIA it was decided that the realities of the complex issues involved in such a car made it sensible to go for 2019 instead of 2018.

"That gives the programme a much better chance of success."

He explained that the Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV was still in the design phase and that it is planned for the car to begin testing at the end of the year.

The car, which will undergo battery changes in the pits, is being designed to attain GTE levels of performance.

The most recent 'Garage 56' entry came in 2016 when quadruple amputee Frederic Sausset raced a specially adapted LMP2 Morgan at Le Mans.

Nissan undertook the only other projects to make it to the grid at Le Mans, the DeltaWing in 2012 [below] and the ZEOD RC hybrid [top], which completed the first lap of Le Mans under electric power in 2014.

#0 Highcroft Racing Delta Wing Nissan: Marino Franchitti, Michael Krumm, Satoshi Motoyama
#0 Highcroft Racing Delta Wing Nissan: Marino Franchitti, Michael Krumm, Satoshi Motoyama

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

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Series Le Mans
Author Gary Watkins
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