David Heinemeier Hansson will not be returning to Team Project 1’s GTE Am line-up for the remainer of the FIA World Endurance Championship as the Dane is unhappy with the class’ current driver rating system.
DHH, as Heinemeier Hansson is commonly referred to, had been part of the driver crew for the #56 Porsche 911 RSR alongside Porsche junior Matteo Cairoli and defending champion Egidio Perfetti. He will be replaced for the remainder of the season by Laurents Hörr.
In a lenghty response on Twitter, the 2014 GTE Am WEC champion explained his rationale for the decision and criticized the current system of driver ratings in the category.
“Yes, I decided to withdraw from the 56 after it became clear that a car with two amateurs and one pro, as the spirit of the GTE-AM class was intended, is no longer a viable or competitive option. Egidio and I were the only such pairing in an 11-car field, and it sucked,” he wrote.
He then clarified the major reason he chose to walk away, that being unfair driver ratings in WEC’s intended privateer class.
“It simply made no sense to continue when you had 3 factory drivers racing as silvers, half the field qualifying their silvers, and the entire field, minus us, using professional/career drivers as silvers. Why waste our time and money competing on such a profoundly unfair field?”
The regulations for GTE Am state that each GTE Am driver crew must include one bronze-rated driver and a maximum of one driver rated either platinum or gold. As a result, many teams decide to use up-and-coming silver drivers, who are usually quicker than regular silver privateers.
Examples of this are Ross Gunn in the #98 Aston Martin Racing crew, Charlie Eastwood for TF Sport and Nicklas Nielsen on board the front-running #86 AF Corse Ferrari trio.
“Egidio and Matteo are awesome, fast drivers for their ratings,” DHH continued. “But as the lone gentleman driver with a silver ranking, I was the anchor on that boat. And who the hell wants to be the anchor? So while it’s a sad note to end on, I’m happy to set those guys free to chase wins.”
While it isn’t uncommon for (semi) professional drivers to compete under a silver rating, Heinemeier Hansson points out that the situation now is not be compared to previous years.
“It’s deeply disappointing that WEC allowed the class to get here without revising the regulations. I’ve raced in the class many times over the years. There’d always be the odd silver that wasn’t really a gentlemen driver, but having 10 cars packed with fake silvers is new.”
“Driving with Egidio and Matteo was awesome,” he concluded. “Our lineup would have been fantastic in almost any other year of the class. The team was great, the RSR is a beast, and I would have loved to attack the Porsche curves in a Porsche again. But better sit on the couch than play the fool.”