The disabled driver line-up of the SRT41 team have withdrawn their plans to race at Le Mans 2020 due to the current ongoing COVID-19 circumstances that have prevented a chance to prepare.
The trio of drivers consists of Belgian ex-motocross rider Nigel Bailly, former Japanese MotoGP and Superbike rider Takuma Aoki, and professional driving instructor Snoussi Ben Moussa.
Part of a scheme named ‘Un Volant Pour Tous’ (A Wheel for All), the squad were set to drive a specifically-altered LMP2 Oreca 07 for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Team owner and quadruple amputee Frédéric Sausset recovered from an infection he encountered in 2012 that led to the amputation of his legs above the knee and his arms removed at the forearm, and aimed to be the first quadruple amputee to race at Le Mans.
Sausset drove at Le Mans in 2016 where he pushed his adapted Morgan-Nissan LMP2 prototype to complete the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Following his completion of the 2016 Le Mans event, he was set to draw up a line-up of disabled drivers that would showcase a light on disabled racing drivers; a 2020 entry would have been the first all-disabled driver line-up in the history of Le Mans.
An entry at the ELMS 4 Hours of Silverstone last year in a Ligier JS P3 (LMP3) was part of the practical preparation for Le Mans.
Sausset described in a press release why he has decided to renounce the participation this year: “After much discussion with my drivers Takuma Aoki, Nigel Bailly and Snoussi Ben Moussa; our sponsors; the members of Team SRT41; the heads of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the European Le Mans Series (ELMS); the presidents of the FIA and the FFSA; and everyone who contributes to the success of this extraordinary project aimed at entering the first fully disabled driver line-up in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, I made the very difficult decision due to the world COVID-19 pandemic to withdraw from the race on 19-20 September.
“The effects of the forced stop of our programme as a result of the quarantine caused me to make this decision as I deemed our preparation would be too negatively impacted to take on this demanding race in optimal conditions.
“I immediately submitted our application to the ACO for the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans.”