Let me take you back to the 1993 Le Mans 24 Hours, and an earlier chapter in Jean Todt's long career. A classic confrontation between the works Peugeot and Toyota teams is in prospect, and Philippe Alliot has claimed first blood for the French manufacturer by putting his 905B on pole. However, after setting his quick lap time he's had a huge crash in the Porsche Curves, slamming the sleek white machine into a concrete wall.
Back in the paddock, the disappointed mechanics load the crumpled remains into a truck and transport them back to the Paris factory for overnight 'repairs.' It's their only option, since substitution of a T-car means starting from the back of the grid, and the enormous PR value of pole will be lost.
The following day the truck returns, and a pristine car is rolled out. The chassis number matches, and the race organisers are happy that all is well. Alliot's pole is safe. But having seen the original wreck up close, and suspecting foul play, I check with a reliable source inside the team. My 'Deep Throat' confirms with a grin that the team has indeed broken the rules by swapping monocoques. And appears to have got away with it.