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Le Mans 24 Hours: Post Race Quotes

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Earl Bamber: “It’s been an incredible twelve months for me, and to get the call to come and do this a couple of weeks ago was amazing. We did Spa, which was a really nice warm up, a learning period. All three of us drove well as a team here and we believed we could do it with our car. A podium was always the goal for Porsche, but our objective was to finish so this is way beyond our expectation.”

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“To be honest it hasn’t sunk in and probably won’t for a while. I think this is the toughest race on the planet and to win for me is quite unbelievable.”

Nick Tandy: “For our #19 car it was just an amazing race. The track really came to us when it became dark; the temperatures went down and the dusk started to come in and our car just switched on with the tyres. We were not too sure at the beginning how well the tyres would last, but were able to quadruple stint them and their performance gave us confidence and kept us pushing.

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“There was no plan for us other than to go for it and deal with what was put in front of us. The only strategy at the beginning was that we wouldn’t all pit for fuel together. It was a comfortable race in the end because we were fast over the whole course of the race and at no point did any of us drive anywhere near our full potential: by the time we got to the point where we could really start to push because knew we had a decent car the race was effectively over. We were watching the Audi guys and they were taking risks.

“The racing is quite different to what we do in the GT cars: honestly, it’s much simpler because you are only looking forwards, especially if you are one of the faster cars. There are not many times when we are around each other, other than the restarts and mainly pit stops. I would disagree entirely with any suggestion that it’s a step up from a GT car to cope with one of these prototypes. It’s a racing car but it has exactly the same building blocks as any other car; its power delivery and feel being an adaptation rather than a specific technical skill. We’re drivers and we always want more power.”

Marcel Fassler: “They were extraordinarily quick for us. We had a puncture at the beginning of the race; then the engine cover flew off so we lost two laps repairing that. And if you lose two laps at Le Mans you cannot win the race. We would have loved to win and we went 110% for the whole race, but congratulations to Porsche who have done the better job here.”

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Benoit Treluyer: “I was surprised by our tyre degradation, which is a problem Porsche did not have. But we gave everything, took a few risks and had problems. You have to have luck, and then some extra luck here. Today we didn’t have that extra luck, but we put up our best fight; that is the main thing.”

Andre Lotterer: “I may have set the fastest lap time ever, it saves our honour a little bit, but I would prefer a win, which is what everyone remembers. The Porsche did an extra lap on their stint that we couldn’t do, and with the problems we had we couldn’t do enough.”

Mark Webber: “The guys in the #19 did a great job, especially in the night time their car was really quick, it left the Audis standing and the rest of us as well. We had a smooth race and are proud to be part of the victory here.”

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Timo Bernhard: “Nobody was thinking too much about victory, as long as we got the maximum out of the cars that was the goal, honestly. That was our realistic objective. Considering we only started this whole programme three years ago this is a very proud moment for us. Sure, as a driver you would want the win but to have the top two positions and be a part of that is a great achievement. I last won here in 2012, but for me this is a race I will certainly always remember even without the victory because the pace was very, very high; it really was a sprint race and I have never had to drive so fast and so hard. People will always ask about strategy and those kind of questions, but it really was just hard driving all the way. This really is the top level of racing; motorsport at the highest level.”

Matt Howson: “An unbelievable experience, but it certainly wasn’t a walk in the park. Even though we seemed to dominate the race that surprised us because the competition had been so tough. We had our moments of concern though, so big thanks to our engineer Greg Wheeler. There was lots of action in the race but he responded really well to everything and kept the car in the lead for pretty much the whole distance, so I’m really thrilled.”

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Richard Bradley: “A lot of people had question marks over our reliability going into the weekend because we’d had issues before. But the concerns were merely because we were running some of those parts and carrying them over to Le Mans. So we were very sensitive to any little niggles and probably over-cautious, particularly in first practice when we stopped because we had a sensor come on: we could have kept going but decided to stop and check.

“The off at Arnage towards the end was a bit of a nightmare. We had a Nissan in front of us that decided to leak oil in the braking zone. The Nissan had pulled up on fire and the marshalls were trying to deal with that, and I couldn’t find reverse so was waiting for them to deal with that before they could come over to me and give me a push. It was especially bad because I’d just lapped G-Drive in the safety car period..!

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“It’s particularly satisfying for me because it was my first ever competitive drive in the night, last year we didn’t make the night time, so for my first stint it felt a bit different to say the least. People have said that we made it look easy, but it was anything but: that last stint for example, we had a good lead but the Jota was behind us with Oliver aboard, who’s very quick and in a car that’s known for not degrading its tyres. Nico’s handed me a car with old tyres he’s been pushing for two stints, and they weren’t the hardest compound, they were a medium compound, and you’re leading Le Mans, you know..? So that last stint was mentally very difficult. But I got out and banged in a couple of good laps which sent a message to Ollie that he needed to back off basically.”

“There is one more thing I would like to say: I qualified on Wednesday. And Wednesday morning I had some very sad news; my uncle passed away. My Mum was actually here and I told her she should go home but she stayed to support me, so I’d like to dedicate both the pole and the win to him.”

Oliver Gavin: “This is almost a fairytale win. With the #63 car having its issues and not being able to make the race, the way the team all came together and led us into the race and then have this fantastic result today is just amazing. It has been one of those days where you’re just waiting for something else to just spring up, for another hurdle to come your way. But it was a spectacular race for Tommy, Jordan and myself; we raced hard against the Aston Martins and the Ferraris and in the end we had the strongest car. This is my fifth victory here and I am absolutely thrilled to have done this with Corvette Racing – I am a very happy man.”

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