For 21 hours, IDEC SPORT showed its brilliant side in one of the most difficult races in the world. Hopes of making it to the podium vanished because of mechanical problems.
After getting pole position in the Le Mans 24-Hour race and a competitive race against the world’s leading teams, IDEC SPORT found themselves provisionally on the podium in the LMP2 category. That is what they can take away from this event. Unfortunately, with three hours to go to the chequered flag, Paul-Loup Chatin, Paul Lafargue and Memo Rojas’s adventure on the Oreca 48 came to an end. A mechanical problem brought it all to a conclusion for Patrice Lafargue’s team. The car headed for the pits for the final time. Car racing can be a very cruel sport.
The whole team is disappointed. Nicolas Minassian, IDEC SPORT’s head of racing with his many years of experience gave us his impressions: “We are retiring, but we had a good race. We are forced to retire due to a gearbox problem. The incident posed a safety problem for the drivers, so logically, we had to take the decision to stop,” explained the former Peugeot driver. “IDEC SPORT has shown itself to be a strong team. Patrice Lafargue has done a huge amount of work with IDEC Sport and the partners. I feel down, but I’m proud to be part of this team. I’m disappointed, but it was a great race and we were doing well. The drivers were incredible. They drove very fast without making any mistakes, so were very professional,” added Nicolas Minassian, who has taken part in seventeen Le Mans races.
“The atmosphere was exceptional with Patrice, the drivers, engineers and those who cleaned the tyres and all the others who work in the wings. Le Mans is very tricky. We did our utmost. The mechanical aspect determined the outcome. It is still very positive.”
In 21 hours of racing, the IDEC Sport team surprised many of their rivals. In 312 laps, Paul Lafargue, Memo Rojas and Paul-Loup Chatin covered more than 4251 kilometres at an incredible pace.
All of the Oreca #48 team will be watching the end of the race from the stands. The winners deserve to be applauded and once over the disappointment, IDEC Sport will be back racing in the ELMS and in the 24-Hr Series.