Suspicions that the French debutant team were in financial trouble raised their head initially at this year’s Le Mans when a second gentleman pay-driver, Erik Maris, was added to the So24! by Lombard Racing lineup at the last minute. Throughout the race weekend tensions were certainly high in the team’s garage.
The rumours have now been confirmed with the French team filing for bankruptcy on July 5th and withdrawing their Ligier JS P2 Judd from the European Le Mans Series.
Although the Lombard name brought much history to the team, it was always a surprise that a debutant team had received an entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans before even turning a wheel (at the expense of many more experienced teams such as Viper Exchange, Greaves and JMW to name just a few). With questions raised at the time as to whether So24! got the entry just ‘because they are French and using the old boy’s network’ it appears now that with the total collapse of the team this decision has come back to bite the ACO Selection Committee.
“Retour au stand définitif pour la Ligier #22…” (We stand down the #22 Ligier permanently) said Capillaire on Facebook on Thursday. He continued: “Lombard Racing filed for bankruptcy on July 5, triggering the withdrawal of the team from the ELMS championship.
“Thank you to all the mechanics, the team manager, engineers, and also to my co-driver Jonathan Coleman.
“Thank you all for the support received. Forza So24!”
So what now for Vincent Capillaire, Jonathan Coleman and Oliver Lombard? Despite a mediocre finish at Le Mans (14th in class) the guys did put in a respectable third place at the ELMS opening round at Silverstone in April.
Everyone at Sportscarglobal wishes the drivers, mechanics and team members the very best during this undoubtably very tough period.