Audi and Porsche drivers devastated for Toyota after Le Mans loss

Audi driver Oliver Jarvis says he would give up his team's inherited podium finish for Toyota to be able to get the Le Mans 24 Hours victory it lost

Audi and Porsche drivers devastated for Toyota after Le Mans loss

Toyota was minutes away from taking its long-awaited first win in the famous race when Kazuki Nakajima suffered a loss of power in closing stages, allowing the #2 Porsche of Neel Jani to sweep by and claim an unexpected victory.

The #5 Toyota was then excluded from second place because Nakajima's final lap was too slow, promoting Jarvis's #8 Audi to the podium alongside the winning car and the #6 Toyota.

"It's a strange feeling being up here," said Jarvis after the podium ceremony. "We'd rather see those Toyota guys up here.

"This is not how we want to be standing on the podium.

"Yeah, we fought hard, we did our jobs, but everyone can agree that's not how anyone wanted the race to finish.

"I don't know the Toyota guys personally, but I'm absolutely gutted for them.

"I would definitely give up my spot here to see them up there [as winners] and to see them rewarded for their hard work.

"This race can happen 1000 times and you will never see what we saw today.

"Who can believe an engine, or a turbo, or whatever it is, can last 23 hours and 57 minutes?

"My thoughts are with Toyota, not our own performance.

"I have a very heavy heart - I'm going to be leaving here with a very strange feeling, as a lot of people will."

The drivers of the other Toyota were not aware of what caused the #5 car to stop, but Stephane Sarrazin initially thought Nakajima was waiting for him to set up a formation finish.

"We've made a great car - a huge step from 2015 and both cars were quick," said Sarrazin.

"I don't know what happened - I thought he was waiting for me and I would stay behind him to the finish.

"Then I was told he had a problem and I had to overtake him.

"This is racing at Le Mans, but it's so sad to end like this."

Sarrazin's co-driver Mike Conway added: "Kazuki couldn't move, I'm really gutted for those guys.

"They deserved to win, but that's what this race is like, you never know until the last dying seconds what's going to happen."

Romain Dumas from the winning car said Porsche had not had a chance to let the dramatic finish sink in.

"We are all sad for Toyota, but when you are offered a victory you have to take it," he said.

"We haven't had a chance to realise what has happened, no one was expecting it.

"Everyone will remember this race in the future."

shares
comments
Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche snatches win amid heartbreak for Toyota
Previous article

Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche snatches win amid heartbreak for Toyota

Next article

Audi's 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours performance "horrible" - di Grassi

Audi's 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours performance "horrible" - di Grassi
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Plus

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Plus

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022
Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination Plus

Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination

OPINION: Peugeot will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend with the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar that has ignored design conventions by eschewing a rear wing. Its distinctive look will help sportscar racing appeal to fresh audiences as a new golden era is ushered in

WEC
Jul 7, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future Plus

How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022