TDS Racing driver Matthieu Vaxiviere has publicly apologised for his collision with Pierre Kaffer, who was driving the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488, during the opening hours of the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Frenchman was passing Kaffer through traffic down the Mulsanne Straight, and tagged him into a spin which sent him veering into the barriers (below at 1:40 into the video). It forced the Risi team to retire the car on the spot.
“Further to the different posts I have read on the internet after the accident I had in Le Mans, I must be humble toward my motorsport family and my fans. My first concern is to apologise again to Pierre Kaffer, his teammates and to the Team Risi Competizione, which I did personally after the race,” Vaxiviere said.
“I know I did wrong and I am sorry about this, and to be honest when I passed Pierre I really thought I was ahead of the Ferrari when I came back on my racing line. I misjudged the action and be sure I did not do that on purpose. I can understand the great disappointment for the team and the fans, and again I apologise from the bottom of my heart, and my first concern when I saw the video was to have medical news from Pierre, which I found out was doing ok, and that’s the most important now.
“I have learnt from this mistake, and now I will go on with our team work to pursue my race career. Of course these kind of accident are really bad, but unfortunately I am not the only one to whom this has happened once. My goal is to not do that ever again.”
Whilst Risi has announced that it will not be competing at the next IMSA round at Watkins Glen, as well as two others later in the year, DSC understands that decision was not related to the Le Mans incident. The car damaged at Le Mans was not the chassis that has been used in IMSA.