The team behind the GreenGT hydrogen-electric prototype racer due to take up the "Garage 56" entry for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours has withdrawn from the event.
The GreenGT H2 is powered by an emissions-free hydrogen fuel cell and had run on track for the first time in April, but will not follow through with its Le Mans entry. Managing director Jean-Francois Weber believes the 2013 event would come too soon for the car to be run properly.
"The GreenGT H2 is already showing great potential and has great scope for improvement," said Weber. "However, the complexity and cost of this unique model requires the use of extremely rigorous methods and very time-consuming new procedures.
"We are only at the beginning of this adventure, and it is essential for us not to cut corners and continue the development of the GreenGT H2."
The car's place will be taken by the ProSpeed Porsche. Vincent Beaumesnil, sports director of the ACO, added that the organization would still promote the GreenGT during Le Mans week and hinted at a World Endurance Championship appearance for the car.
"The technology of the GreenGT H2 is perfectly in line with the spirit of innovation that ACO intends to promote with Garage 56. It works, and the ACO was right in believing in the technological merits of this project," he said. "But the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a high-endurance event, and it is premature for the GreenGT H2 to take up this challenge.
"However, we will continue to support this initiative and, together with GreenGT, we will soon announce a worldwide demonstration tour which will take place during the same week as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and, possibly, an unranked presence at the start of a World Endurance Championship race, as the regulations allow the presence of this type of vehicle on the starting grid."