Le Mans countdown: Stefan Johansson

Stefan Johansson won Le Mans with the Joest Porsche in 1997, but a repeat this year will be even sweeter as the Swedish veteran is back as the boss of his own team. The last owner to win was Jean Rondeau back in 1980, and while that result was extra special in that the Frenchman actually built his own car, a success for Stefan would be highly unusual in the modern era. His Audi is very close to what the works team has, and he has two solid drivers in former Formula Nippon champion Tom Coronel and BAR test driver Patrick Lemarie, although the downside is that they joined the project at a very late stage. Adam Cooper spoke to Johansson about his prospects for the 24 Hours

Le Mans countdown: Stefan Johansson



"It was very promising I would say, especially the times we were able to do on race tyres. The car was sweet, and we didn't really touch it. We did a full tank run, and we were able to run very strong times, and the tyres didn't even look like they were used. So far, so good."



"I think we can be close to them on pace. But I think really and truthfully whoever makes the least mistakes is the one who's going to win the race, whether it's a mistake in the pits or a mistake on the race track. Whoever does the least amount of unscheduled stops is the winner."



"They have some bits that we don't have, the aero package and so on, but I don't know how much difference it makes. If the pre-qualifying is any indication it wouldn't be a huge amount of difference, I don't think. But I think obviously we have to drive incredibly hard, and be absolutely as fast as we can be all the time, but really it's going to come down to not making any mistakes at the end of the day."



"The arrangement this year is great, actually. I just put the deal together, and then Mike Earle and Arena are running the team for me, so I don't really get involved much in the running of the car. They do a fantastic job.

"The car is immaculately prepared all the time, and the team is really good in that the pit stops are great and so on. I just sort of work on the overall picture a little bit more."



"It's a challenge for sure! Certainly it's in the back of my mind."



"Nothing. I've shut down everything in America and I'm focussing completely on this now, and I'm actually planning to move the family back to Europe in September probably."



"Sportscars is what I'm putting all the effort into now. I'd like to pursue that and try to build a team, and try to elevate it a little bit each year."



"Which is a bit of worry, it's not a good situation, but hopefully that will get resolved sometime soon."



"Not really, just a lay man's interest. I have some other business interests which involve some issues in F1.

"But I do love F1 I have to say. The technology is incredible, and the way the whole business has evolved is unbelievably impressive."

shares
comments
Arrows to decide whether to stick with Asiatech
Previous article

Arrows to decide whether to stick with Asiatech

Next article

Michael Leads All Schumacher Front Row - Canadian GP

Michael Leads All Schumacher Front Row - Canadian GP
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023