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Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans

Extent of Le Mans LMP2 winner Scherer's injuries revealed

Inter Europol Competition's Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 winner Fabio Scherer suffered an incomplete foot fracture and ligament damage after a pitlane incident three laps into the race.

#34 Inter Europol Competition Oreca 07 - Gibson of Jakub Smiechowski, Albert Costa, Fabio Scherer

Scherer teamed up with Albert Costa and Kuba Smiechowski to score Polish squad Inter Europol's first World Endurance Championship victory last weekend, but had to race through the pain barrier after his left foot was run over by Nicky Catsburg's GTE Am Corvette during his first pitstop handing over to Smiechowski.

After Inter Europol adapted its run plan to give Scherer more time to rest, the Swiss got back behind the wheel six hours later and completed a total of eight hours and 20 minutes in the cockpit despite painful swelling that meant he took "maybe 15 minutes" to put his race boot on.

Scherer had to hop to the car before driver changes, but continued to left-foot brake as usual and refused to find out the true extent of the damage until after the race.

"I don’t want to know before because I want to drive and I want to win this thing," he said.

On Tuesday the full extent of Scherer’s injury was revealed in a statement on Twitter that said he is using crutches.

After the race Scherer revealed that the pain was most pronounced in slow zones and under safety car conditions, but found "the adrenaline was more than the pain" in normal driving conditions.

"I knew already the whole week that we could have a chance for a solid result but then in the result when I thought ‘probably it can be our race’, I forgot about the foot," he said.

"I tried to just go for it because winning Le Mans is the biggest thing for me to achieve in motorsport.

"I prefer to have some pains and the win from Le Mans than the opposite way around.

"I was a bit like, I just go through, doesn’t matter what it costs because I’m living for that and that’s my dream and you don’t give up for a foot that gives you some pain."

The pursuing #41 WRT ORECA of Louis Deletraz closed in rapidly at the start of their final double stints and at one point had reduced the gap to eight seconds.

Radio problems meant Scherer was "not really totally" aware of the gap, but he managed to stretch the advantage back to 21s by the flag.

Asked by Autosport whether he'd been managing his pace, Scherer said: "I knew what the tyres are capable of and if you push them too much in the first stint usually you pay the bill in the second one and that’s what I thought about and that’s what exactly happened."

#34 Inter Europol Competition Oreca 07 - Gibson of Jakub Smiechowski, Albert Costa, Fabio Scherer

#34 Inter Europol Competition Oreca 07 - Gibson of Jakub Smiechowski, Albert Costa, Fabio Scherer

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

He later added: "I think they were more nervous than me because I knew more or less what the plan is.

"For sure it would be better to know the gaps a bit where all the cars are, but sometimes it’s just go with what you have and see where you are."

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Scherer explained that relative to WRT, Inter Europol's "performance was a tiny but quicker through the whole race I would say, especially on the second and third stint of the tyre".

"I think that made us at the end the small difference," he said.

"Spa, we could have won already if everything would have worked out a bit more in our direction. The pace was there to be all races this year in the podium, I think it was not that far away."

Team-mate Costa told Autosport that he believed the race would be over for Inter Europol due to Scherer's injury.

"All the physios went there and I was like, ‘Wow, Kuba and myself, that’s it, it’s the end of the race because we’re going to kill ourselves.

"[Doing the full race] two drivers with this car, it’s difficult to drive.

"At the end Fabio was the hero! He survived, he was driving almost better than he usually does!"

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