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Le Mans 24 Hours: Press Conference Quotes

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Benoit Tréluyer, #2 Audi R-18 e-tron quattro: “Winning Le Mans is very emotional but, quite honestly, I had the easy stints. It was the other guys that did the work. The strategy of the engineers was great and the victory is really for the whole team. I played only a small part. We didn’t win it last year, but our approach here was more like 2011. We concentrated on our own race and took the car through until morning. It was the car which had the least bad luck that won.”

Marcel Fässler, , #2 Audi R-18 e-tron quattro: “During the night we tried to apply pressure to the Porsche that led the race. We had a problem with the turbo and I was disappointed to lose five laps, which is normally impossible to get back, but today everyone had problems. We’ve scored a great victory for Audi.”

André Lotterer, #2 Audi R-18 e-tron quattro: “To win you have to look after fuel and race without penalties. You had to find the right balance today. I was in bed in the cabin when Benoit came in and told me that the turbo had broken. I said, that’s impossible, that just doesn’t happen. The mechanics worked really hard, very quickly, then we had some luck, and we are here.”

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport: “We were not the favourites in the first two races (this season). We were not at our best, and not ready to fight at this level, particularly in the first race where we were crashing the cars. Even when we arrived here we saw that we were not able to do the fastest laps, but that’s not unusual for us. You have to find a way of lasting 24 hours without problems and without hitting anything.”

“We had out accident with the number three car when the rain came, and the car was destroyed. That is hard on the team, when everybody had been working so hard after the incident with the number one car. To have only two cars after an hour is demotivating. The pace of the Toyota was very quick during the night, but we were keeping with this pace. Le Mans did its thing and created some problems for them, and we were able to move ahead. This really is a great result for the team, and the engineers.”

“The turbo on the number one car was not changed as a precaution. We never had any turbo problems in two seasons of WEC and towards the end of the race it broke. We have analysed it and now we understand.”

“A lot of the result was out of our hard work, but we did have some luck today. We didn’t change strategy after the accident – we still had to be quick, but within our window to be there to take advantage when things change.”

Tom Kristensen, #1 Audi R-18 e-tron quattro: “Of course there were challenges for us, particularly in the night when we had to change injectors, and then we had a puncture. After that I thought, well, that’s our bad luck for the weekend, but then we had the turbo change. I’m not too unhappy to finish second, but when you have tasted victory and led the race it can still be a disappointment,. I am part of the greatest team and we live in the moment, and that’s what you see.”

“Our mechanics did a whole Le Mans before the race even started. We send our best regards to Loïc Duval, who is sitting at home. We would have loved to have made it our little fairy tale, but we still have a great result.”

Lucas di Grassi, #1 Audi R-18 e-tron quattro. “It was a difficult race for all of us but we were really pleased that Loïc was OK. Every time I race here I fall more in love with it – the race, the crowd, everything about it. I hope to be here many more years, as I love this experience. I am the rookie but since I’ve joined the greatest team Audi makes life easier. We win together, we loose together, they teach me how to achieve in endurance racing, and I only have to get better.”

Marc Gené, #1 Audi R-18 e-tron quattro: “I came to replace Loïc. He is irreplaceable, but I did my best. It’s thanks to Jota that I could do it. I had two tests before Le Mans, and three seats made for me. I didn’t expect to do as well, but second is very good. It’s like a fairytale for me.”

Nicolas Lapierre, #8 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid: “The accident was impossible to read. I arrived on the Mulsanne and I just couldn’t see anything, but I knew there were several cars in front of me. I couldn’t control the car and I hit (the barrier) on the inside. The car wouldn’t move and I had to wait for the safety car before I could get back. After that we were the only team not to have any technical issues,

Sébastien Buemi, #8 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid: “To be honest we are disappointed with our third place, but there is Le Mans and there is the championship, and we have to focus on that. Audi did a great job, and congratulations for that, but we have to move from this.”

Anthony Davidson, #8 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid: “This really was an epic race. Three top manufacturers leading the race. The fans should be happy, but we are disappointed. We don’t like the taste of third. Any three of us could have made the mistake, but we have to learn from that and move on. I’m proud to be sitting here, but I will be more proud at the end of the year, we hope, with the championship, which is now what we have to focus on.”

“Le Mans is harder than most to win but you don’t make mistakes from your competitors putting pressure on you. As drivers, maybe, in the race, but as a team, no.”

Nick Heidfeld, #8 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid: “Well, we have managed to finish the 24 Hours. We have only had the car seven weeks. We finished a race at Spa six weeks ago, so a lot of work has gone into making changes for this race. Finishing fourth against seven constructor cars is a great achievement. The mechanics did a hell of a job. We were very cautious until the last minute. We just tried to do the best for ourselves, for the car, on a good rhythm.”

“In the rain I stayed out one lap too long. I saw an LMP in the wall, so I slowed. After that it was impossible to control the car. It was like swimming, being on slicks.”

LMP2

Simon Dolan, #38 Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN: “This is very special for us. It’s the biggest race on earth, and we’ve won it. From where we were last night, that’s unbelievable, particularly as it more or less came down to the last stint. This is massively important to the whole team.”

Harry Tincknell, #38 Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN: “I was told by the team that I had to hunt them down and put them under pressure and hope they’d crack. I got onto the back of the TDS car to give Olly the best chance when I handed over. I‘d given everything, but the car was good. I was shattered.”

Oliver Turvey, #38 Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN: “It has been a quite an unreal few days. At the start of the week I wasn’t going to be here. I was down and frustrated because I’d made my debut here last year and I wanted to be back. I got the call on Wednesday and it was really exciting. Just to qualify for the race was great. I had only been out for one lap in the dry before the downpour, so I did two stints in a deluge. It was maximum attack all the time but at the final stint I knew it was on, so I really pushed hard. We came out from the final stop still in front and it’s just incredible to win it.”

GTE-Pro

Tony Vilander, #51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia: “Where is our Rolex? The crew here was very good. In 2011 we were second. In 2012 we won, and here we are again. AF Corse gives us a fabulous, fast racecar and, with fast team mates, this is a great package.”

Giancarlo Fisichella, #51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia: “I have won races in F1, and I am really proud of this as this is such a great historic race. The car was reliable, which was the most important thing. We went through without problems and we won.”

Gianmaria Bruni, #51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia: “We fought very hard but the last four hours was just about waiting.”

GTE-Am

Nicky Thiim, #95 Aston Martin Vantage V8: “I didn’t know what to expect as a rookie, but I don’t really know what to say. I can’t believe I’m sitting here, for the first time, as a winner.”

David Heinemeir Hansson, #95 Aston Martin Vantage V8: “It’s great to be able to pass for position. I’ve been doing some racing in LM P2 last year and you get the feeling that you’re just circulating. This is great that you are racing and you can see your competitors and challenge them. The car is phenomenal – there were no issues at all, except a slight hiccup at the end, but otherwise it was incredible.”

Kristian Poulsen, #95 Aston Martin Vantage V8: “It’s been a tough week for all of us at Aston Martin, as we all knew Allan. The first couple of laps that I drove, I thought it was a bad idea, but you have to get on with it. The support we got here has been fantastic, as has been the support for Allan’s family, which has been amazing. He was a really nice guy and we will never forget him.”

ML/MP