Nyck De Vries replaces accident-prone driver banned from Le Mans 24 Hours

Le Mans News
Nyck de Vries celebrates winning the 2021 Formula E championship

Toyota reserve driver Nyck De Vries has been parachuted into the TDS Racing team for this Weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours after one of its drivers was banned.

LMP2 racer Philippe Cimadomo has been excluded for a number of incidents in the practice sessions building up to Le Mans meaning that Dutch ace de Vries, who is also the Mercedes F1 reserve driver, now finds himself at TDS just one day before the blue riband endurance race.

Cimadomo first caused an incident in FP1 when coming together with the #63 Corvette at the Dunlop chicane, whilst stewards also said that the Frenchman caused another at the pit entry in the same session.

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Then in FP3, 62-year-old amateur crashed his TDS ORECA at Corvette Corner after connecting with the the WRT of Sean Galael.

Stewards subsequently summoned the driver and TDS team manager, coming to the conclusion that the bronze-rated entrant “is not driving to the standard required to safely participate in the remainder of the event” and thus banned him “for the safety of himself and other competitors”, upon the recommendation of race director Eduardo Freitas.

Cimadomo, who is currently second in the European Le Mans Series Pro-Am points with team-mates Mathias Beche and Tijmen van der Helm, said the incidents were just due to “momentary lapses”, but stewards came to their decision based on “a pattern exists that cannot be ignored at this time.”

However, the Frenchman still has the right to appeal the decision.

TDS, which has been on the pace when driven by its professional driver Beche in practice, has raced at Le Mans for a number of years in several guises.

De Vries has in fact raced for the same team before, finishing 15th in LMP2 and 19th overall at Le Mans in 2018 when the outfit competed under its Team Nederland moniker.