- Scrutineering Complete at Le Mans; Arena Zytek Withdraws
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Scrutineering Complete at Le Mans; Arena Zytek Withdraws

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Tuesday, 12 June 2007

The traditional two days of administrative checks have concluded in downtown Le Mans, at Place des Jacobins.  All entries made their way through scrutineering without a problem, but the big news is that only 54 of the 55 cars showed up to compete this weekend. 

The No. 10 Arena International Motorsport Zytek 07S has been officially withdrawn from the race.  The Mike Earle-led team was not able to rebuild the car in time after suffering a crash in the official Test Day.    

Stefan Johansson, one of the drivers scheduled to pilot the Arena Zytek, will now be behind the wheel of the No. 13 Courage Competition LC70 AER, replacing Seiji Ara, who was close to securing the third seat in the LC70.  The fast Swede will now partner Jean-Marc Gounon and Guillaume Moreau in the French entry. 

On Monday, Peugeot Sport were the center of attention with its two 908 HDI FAPs.  Many of the French fans will be cheering for these diesel-powered LMP1 coupes to come out on top Sunday.


American favorites Corvette Racing and Flying Lizard Motorsports also went through the administrative checks on Monday.  The Pratt & Miller outfit has always been well-welcomed at La Sarthe with its pair of Corvette C6.Rs while Sonoma, California-based Flying Lizard showed up with quite a surprise.  Their Porsche 997 GT3 RSR was painted up in a radical new livery, designed by Troy Lee Designs. 


Tuesday saw Peugeots rivals, Audi, hit the center stage with its trio of R10 TDIs.  The big news of course is that seven-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen will be racing this weekend, fully recovered from his head injuries sustained in the season-opening DTM race in April.  The quick Dane will join Allan McNish and Dindo Capello in the German outfit’s second car.

With scrutineering coming to an end, the final entry list has been published.  Aside from the withdrawal of the Arena Zytek and Stefan Johannson moving over to the No. 13 Courage, a few other changes have been made.

Jesus Villarroel, who was present at the Test Day, will get a race seat in the No. 83 GPC Sport Ferrari, partnering Mathew Marsh and Carl Rosenblad.  Fabrizio de Simone was originally announced as part of the driving strength but has been replaced by the Spaniard.

JLOC Iso Noritake has also finalized its line-up with Atsushi Yogo joining Koji Yamanishi and Marco Apicella in the team’s Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT.

Heading into Wednesday’s qualifying sessions, rain is in the forecast.  In fact, showers are expected to be hovering around La Sarthe all weekend long, which would throw up another variable.  Can the high-torqued diesel-fueled LMP1s be at a disadvantage?  Neither the Audi R10 TDI nor Peugeot 908 HDI FAP has competed in a rain race before, bringing up more questions.  Can the gasoline burners have an advantage if does in fact rain?  If that’s the case, then don’t be surprised to see Henri Pescarolo do a rain dance Saturday morning!  

We will begin our full coverage tomorrow, with live coverage of the first rounds of qualifying as well as exclusive photo galleries from Mike Hoyer.  Keep checking back all week long for the latest from Le Mans!



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