The ACO has been notified of the first withdrawal among the 55 entrants invited to take part in the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours. The Gigawave Motorsport Ltd Aston Martin DBR9 will not be present at free compulsory practice on 10th June. The British team has decided to concentrate all its energies on the homologation of the new Nissan GTR as well as its race programme.
In compliance with the ACO regulations the place left vacant by the Aston Martin’s withdrawal goes to the first reserve car on the list of invitations, no matter what its category: namely, the Ferrari 430 GT (LM GT2) entered by the Seattle Advanced Engineering team.
From a media point of view, this announcement is going to have repercussions far beyond the world of endurance, as all the fans of the TV Series Grey’s Anatomy will be in seventh heaven! Patrick Dempsey (alias Doctor Shepherd) will be at the start of his first Le Mans 24 Hours as he is part of the Seattle team’s driver line-up (which carries the colours of Cardiac Surgery sponsorship).
He already has a lot of experience in the United States but is a newcomer to the mythic Le Mans circuit, so he will have to do at least ten laps of the track in his car during free practice on Wednesday 10th June.
Source : ACO