SRT41 is back at the race tracks in 2021.
The French team is currently testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, ahead of their at least three planned race outings in 2021.
For those who don’t know the story behind SRT41, it’s a very special team, with two of the three drivers being Paralympic athletes.
Team owner Frederic Sausset had his own debut at Le Mans in 2016, and is a quadruple amputee, with a bacteria attacking all four limbs, which had to be amputated. The team completed the race, outside competition, having two more racing drivers in the cars, which had both arms and legs fully functional, while a special control system was in place, once Sausset was in the car.
The three drivers of the car this year will be Belgian driver Nigel Bailly, and Japanese driver Takuma Aoki, which both were on for their 2020 programme as well, while French driver Pierre Sancinena is the new third driver of the car.
Bailly and Aoki won’t be able to use their legs in the car, while Sancinena is able to race the car in a normal way.
The team will be run by Graff, who has great knowledge of the ORECA 07 Gibson model, but this one being equipped with a hand throttle and brake.
The big goal is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but will race at the first two races of the European Le Mans Series in Barcelona and Red Bull Ring in Austria. This announcement came prior to the Le Mans date change, so it’s still unknown if they will add the ELMS races at Paul Ricard and Monza, as extra practice.
They were on the original entry list for the 2020 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but opted to pull out at a very early stage, since the COVID-19 situation made travel impossible across Europe, so they wouldn’t be able to get their preparations done.
There was a similar project 20 years ago, when Team Den Blaa Avis built hand controls into a Panoz LMP1-Roadster, that Jason Watt raced for two races, following his motorcycle accident. The technology wasn’t quite as advanced back then, so it was difficult for Watt to handle the powerful and heavy car, and keep up the pace with the other competitors. They went for a hand-controlled Peugeot 306 instead, that Watt ended up winning the Danish Touring car Championship within 2002.
SRT41 will have car number 84 and will be one of the cars in the 62 car Le Mans field for 2021, which will be fully announced on Tuesday.