Da Costa: 2017 Le Mans hopes dashed by ‘ruined’ LMP2 market

Formula E

Antonio Felix da Costa feels his hopes of racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year were dashed by the lack of opportunities in the LMP2 market for platinum-rated drivers.

Da Costa currently races with MS Amlin Andretti in Formula E, but was angling for a drive at Le Mans in 2017 to add to his busy program that will also see him race at the Nürburgring 24 Hours with BMW, as well as developing its 2018 GTE car.

The Portuguese driver had been looking for a drive in the LMP2 class, but failed to secure a seat and was not named on the official entry list for the race, published on Tuesday.

“The LMP2 market is not nice at the moment,” da Costa explained to NBC Sports over the Monaco Formula E race weekend.

“It’s a bit ruined because the silver drivers are the most dominant factor there, and it’s not interesting for the teams to have a platinum driver.

“I would still love to do it just to get some experience, but the teams are charging money for the seats. All the gold and platinum guys are paying to be there, the silvers are paying to be there. The market itself is not great.”

Da Costa felt that running at Le Mans would have boosted his chances of securing a drive with BMW upon its entry to the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE Pro class in 2018, but remains hopeful of getting the nod for a seat.

“I’m sure if I did Le Mans this year, it would help me out to get a small advantage to get that seat next year,” da Costa said.

“That’s one of the reasons that I wanted to do it as well, but yeah. I’m deeply involved in the development of the new car. Hopefully I can get myself into that.”