Le Mans 24h: Gutted Davidson "would have made same mistake again" after off

JOTA LMP2 driver Anthony Davidson said he was "gutted" to spin out of the lead at the Le Mans 24 Hours but admitted he "would have made exactly the same mistake all over again."

Le Mans 24h: Gutted Davidson "would have made same mistake again" after off

In the third hour Davidson was leading his class in the #38 JOTA ORECA-Gibson 07 he shared with Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez when he got caught out by a sudden rain shower in Turn 1.

Behind a spinning Porsche GTE Am car, Davidson also lost control and spun in the gravel.

Because the car got beached, he lost several minutes and eventually had to box for repairs, tumbling JOTA down to 19th in LMP2.

Davidson said he was "gutted" and accepted full responsibility for his costly off, but admitted that if he were to go back in time, he would not have done anything different.

"I messed it up, my fault," he said on WEC's official broadcast.

"It was wet around Turn 1, the Porsche went off in front of me, probably distracted me a little bit if I'm honest and took my eyes off the road momentarily looking at him.

"The whole rest of the circuit had been dry up to that point. And even the memory of having left the pits going through the pitlane and through Turn 1 and Turn 2 it was much drier than what it was when I came back around.

"It's just gutting. The rain came down straight out there on cold slicks. Honestly, I think if you had given me that chance to go out there and do it all over again, I would have made exactly the same mistake all over again.

"I was in the lead in the race in my class, and you don't want to give up the lead. So, it's a balance between taking risks and not letting others catch you under those conditions."

The #38 JOTA entry, which finished second last year with the same driver line-up, had looked imperiously strong in the opening stages.

#38 JOTA Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2, Roberto Gonzalez, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Anthony Davidson

#38 JOTA Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2, Roberto Gonzalez, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Anthony Davidson

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Starting driver Felix da Costa, who took pole on Thursday, built up a gap on the pursuing #26 G-Drive ORECA before handing off to Davidson around the 2h30m mark.

Davidson said he was particularly sorry for the Portuguese Formula E star, who had been LMP2's standout performer so far.

"I'm sorry to the guys, especially Antonio, he was flying out there doing such a great job this week," he added.

"The car was flying. It was a dream to drive all week. We'd all worked so well, myself included, getting the set-up just perfect."

Read Also:

The #38 car disappeared into the garage for lengthy repairs before resuming the race, which Davidson explained was due to gravel from his excursion causing damage to the oil filter.

"It was part of the off through the gravel," he said.

"Unfortunately, I think stones got wedged between the floor and the engine and punctured the oil filter, and then the engine started losing oil, so they had to change that.

"So yeah, just snowballing from that one small mistake which had massive consequences. I was hopeful that I'd got away with it because I didn't end up in the barrier."

JOTA's other entry, the #28 car of Stoffel Vandoorne, Sean Gelael and Tom Blomqvist, looked well-placed to pick up its sister car's pieces, leading spells of the evening hours.

But a 90-second stop and hold and a drivethrough penalty for Blomqvist, respectively for jumping his safety car queue and crossing the white line on pit entry, dropped that car off the lead lap in fifth.

shares
comments

Related video

Le Mans 24 Hours: #7 Toyota holds lead over #8 after four hours

Previous article

Le Mans 24 Hours: #7 Toyota holds lead over #8 after four hours

Next article

Le Mans 24h: Toyota extends 1-2 lead, rain causes chaos in LMP2

Le Mans 24h: Toyota extends 1-2 lead, rain causes chaos in LMP2
Load comments
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Plus

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
10 things we've learned from the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours so far Plus

10 things we've learned from the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Autosport picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team by team guide Plus

Le Mans 2021: The team by team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in Le Mans' underrated class Plus

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in Le Mans' underrated class

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Plus

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Plus

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Plus

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021