Sadly, Loic Duval has had to withdraw from the race on advice from doctors. His place in the #1 Audi will be taken by Audi reserve and prototype veteran Marc Gene, who was due to race for Jota in the LMP2 class. According to Autosport, Jota has replaced Gene with Oliver Turvey, who raced for them in the 24 hours last year.
Unfortunately, Duval isn’t the only one to withdraw from the race as now the #99 Aston has pulled out after another hefty crash in the Porsche curves. Quite a shame that, there’s now only 1 Aston in the LMGTE Pro field, which is down to just 8 cars.
I saw a quote from Timo Bernhard after the race: “The car was running well. We had some difficult issues with the balance of the car, and it was not easy to drive. But in the end, I was saving fuel and keeping away from the kerbs. And then (while Mark was driving) we had a broken engine, which happened in first gear.”
Mark’s post-race comments also included an apology of sorts: “What Porsche did is a very big feather in its cap. Few people know how hard it is to get the cars to this point in the race. I’m really sorry for the guys. There is never ever a good retirement in Le Mans, but today is one of the best you could probably have in a way, because we went so far and we learned so much.”
I think that even the P1 cars take Arnage in 1st, so that seems OK, but it just seems that, reading between the lines of Timo’s comment, it could indicate that Mark blew the engine – maybe by downshifting too early.
I haven’t seen any other comments, so I thought I’d come here to see what you guys think.
According to some people I spoke to, it was noticeably busier compared to last year. I guess the main reason for that is Porsche and Webber? Another theory (based on my own experience) is that people are fed up with Formula 1’s ridiculous ticket prices?
Had an epic time at Le Mans this weekend on my first visit (I’ll definitely be going back!). I’ve uploaded a quick selection of 24 photos from the main race, but I’ve got plenty more on the way from the rest of the weekend too.
It really is an incredible experience to see circuit racing in the dying light, full on darkness and then the morning sun too. We were very fortunate to get front row seats for the grandstand above the pits which offered great views of the build-up, start and eventually the finish. It was equally great to get out and about over the circuit, even if I didn’t manage to see as much as I’d have liked too.