The long-time leader of the GT1 class in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours, the #60 Matech Ford GT, has retired from the race with an engine failure.
Having dominated the category more-or-less from the start of the race, the car first hit trouble when it and the #24 Oak Racing Pescarolo collided in the tenth hour. The team lost 10 laps in the pits for significant repairs and dropped to fourth in class before mounting a fightback.
Then in the 14th hour, Romain Grosjean brought the car in for a service from third in class, and couldn't restart the engine.
"The engine has died, so it is over," said the former Renault Formula 1 driver. "After everything..."
Grosjean said he was not too disheartened however, adding that the team for which he drives in the FIA World GT Championship had done well for its first attempt at La Sarthe.
"I think we did a great job for our first one," he said. "We tried to do as much as we could to recover from the crash, driving, driving as fast as possible, not changing tyres. It was getting very hot at the end with the tyres.
"Then when we went to restart the engine didn't want it. It wasn't related to the crash. The other car had a similar problem as well and unfortunately we didn't have the time to do simulations of 24 hours before the race."
Grosjean said that he intended to return to the 24 Hours in future, having thoroughly enjoyed his first experience of the event.
"It's incredible, even in Formula 1 I didn't see a start like this," he said. "When everyone started to sing the Marseillaise. I was amazed so I might come back..."
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