Mike Simpson has replaced Dean Stoneman at the Manor Ginetta CEFC TRSM Racing LMP1 squad’s driver line-up for the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

2014 GP3 runner-up Stoneman has been dropped from the team’s line-up in the #5 Ginetta-Macachrome G60-LT-60 ahead of the prestigious race on June 16-17, the next round of the 2018-2019 World Endurance Championship Superseason. 

Instead, it will be Ginetta test driver Simpson who the team will field alongside reigning European Le Mans Series champion Leo Roussel and Charlie Robertson. Simpson and Robertson both recently completed the ACO’s mandated simulator session, a requirement for all Le Mans debutants.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be making my first Le Mans 24 hours appearance, I have been working and training hard with Ginetta for 10 years now for this opportunity and with the added celebration of the company’s 60th anniversary it will be a very special moment indeed for the business and I,” Simpson said.

“I am especially excited to be in LMP1 challenging for overall honours, piloting the only British car on the grid. The notorious large British crowd at Le Mans each year will definitely inspire us to push hard.”

The #6 Manor Ginetta line-up consisting of Williams F1 young driver and single-seater ace Oliver Rowland, Alex Brundle and NIO Formula E driver Oliver Turvey remains unchanged. 

Manor’s inaugural appearance at Le Mans as an LMP1 outfit was confirmed alongside the driver tweaks on the finalised entry list for the race, which was released on Thursday. 

The CEFC TRSM Racing LMP1 programme remains uncertain after Ginetta was forced to withdraw both its LMP1 cars from the opening round of the WEC campaign at Spa earlier this month due to finding issues. 

Following its non-participation, the British constructor said it was confident the financial situation would be resolved in time to allow it to contest at Le Mans.