The Greaves Motorsport squad will not defend its European Le Mans Series crown with the Gibson that claimed last year’s title.
The British team, which won the 2015 ELMS with Jon Lancaster, Bjorn Wirdheim and Gary Hirsch, has been unable to put together a deal to run the Gibson-Nissan 015S in the six-race series. It has also opted to withdraw the car from its place at the top of the reserve list for the Le Mans 24 Hours.
That means the hopes of Greaves at Le Mans and in the ELMS will rest on its new Ligier-Nissan JSP2 to be driven by Memo Rojas, Julien Canal and a third as-yet-undisclosed driver.
“We basically weren’t able to put the budget together and were hampered by the fact that we didn’t have a guaranteed entry for Le Mans,” team owner Tim Greaves said. “The other factor is that there are quite a few new teams out there that weren’t around last year.”
Greaves said that the team was withdrawing from the Le Mans reserve list “to respect [race organizer] the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and its procedures.”
The withdrawal of the Greaves squad closes one door on record-breaking Olympian Sir Chris Hoy’s ambitions to race at Le Mans. Hoy tested the Greaves Gibson for the second time at the Aragon circuit earlier this month and is understood to be gaining further experience aboard the Algarve Pro Racing team’s Ligier-Nissan, which has now moved up to first reserve for Le Mans, at this week’s official ELMS test at Paul Ricard.
The team will also provide technical assistance for the Krohn Racing Ligier-Nissan, which will run on Michelin tires rather than the Dunlops of the full Greaves entry.
The new Panis-Barthez Competition squad, whose Nissan-engined Ligier will be run by the Formula V8 3.5 team Tech One Racing, has also announced its intention to run on Michelins.