WEC: Brabham in, Team SARD Morand out for Silverstone

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The 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season kicks off with the 6 Hours of Silverstone this weekend, but there have been two late changes to the grid ahead of the curtain-raiser.

The field has fallen to 29 cars for the race weekend following the withdrawal of Team SARD Morand, which had been due to field two cars in LMP2 at Silverstone.

The no. 39 comprising of Christian Klien, Koki Saga and Zoel Amberg, and the no. 43 of Pierre Ragues, Oliver Webb and Tristan Vautier have been sidelined for this weekend’s race, with the team releasing a short statement confirming its withdrawal.

“We are sorry to announce that Team SARD Morand has to withdraw its two Morgan Evo SARD from the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship held this weekend at Silverstone,” the statement reads.

“Due to administrative and legal reasons, Benoit Morand and his crew will miss the opening round of the championship. From now on, everything is done to race in Belgium for the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship and for the remaining rounds of the season.”

Morand also commented on the matter, saying: “Announcing this withdrawal is very painful. The team and I are working hard to race in Belgium and for the following rounds. I am still optimistic and have to go ahead.”

However, there has been a late addition to the LMP2 grid for the race at Silverstone in the form of David Brabham in the no. 31 Extreme Speed Motorsports Tequila Patron ESM car.

The Australian driver will substitute for Johannes van Overbeek, who had been due to race alongside Ed Brown and Jon Fogarty, only to pull out due to a rib injury.

“It was quite a surprise to get a call this close to the race,” Brabham said. “Scott [Sharp] explained the situation, and I feel for Johannes after having my own rib injury a couple of months ago racing in Australia. I know how much pain he is in.

“I’m honored to have been called up to help out Tequila Patrón ESM here at Silverstone, which isn’t that far from where I live. I’ll do the best I can this weekend.

“I’m back in racing form since my accident and have been training frequently. I’m looking forward to driving with Ed again, and we’ll start the Tequila Patrón ESM WEC season off on the right foot.”