Davidson denies gamesmanship

Anthony Davidson denied suggestions of gamesmanship in the 22nd hour of this year's Le Mans 24 Hours after his #9 Peugeot appeared to impede the progress of the leading #2 Audi, which was trying to lap him

Davidson denies gamesmanship

Davidson insisted afterwards that he had been given no orders to hold up eventual winner Andre Lotterer, who was being pursued by the Briton's team-mate Simon Pagenaud in the sister #8 car.

Davidson's car had been put out of contention after Alex Wurz crashed in the 19th hour, costing the team four laps in repairs.

Audi team principal Dr Wolfgang Ullrich eluded to 'games' being played, but Davidson pointed out that he was under no obligation to move over and the leader by, given that he was racing to recover his own car's position.

"Let's just get one thing straight," Davidson told AUTOSPORT. "I never received one team order whatsoever. All of that is just a whole load of BS in my opinion. I can't speak for other drivers.

"I didn't see any of it on-screen at the time but I wasn't told to do anything. I took my own initiative, as I know in sportscar racing now that the blue flags don't mean anything. And the Audi drivers happily held me up at Spa and I accept that because it seems to be part of the rule in endurance racing. So I had great fun playing with the Audi.

"And in a way when it was my turn to come up and overtake him and unlap myself you know that they are in a slightly weaker position because they are going to have to yield to allow a car that is not really racing them to go past. It was great fun, we had a great tussle."

Television pictures appeared to show Davidson shut the door on Lotterer on several occasions. While Davidson's team-mate Marc Gene and #2 Audi actually made contact into the second chicane once the Briton had handed over the car.

But Davidson said there was no intentional contact made and that given the lack of vision in modern coupe LMP1, it is difficult to know exactly where other cars on the track.

"I was just speaking to the other drivers and they said that it looked so close at times," he said. "But you are so enclosed in these cars that I could see him in the braking zones getting quite close in a straight line. But when you commit to the corner you can't see anything out of your peripheral vision and I only found out afterwards that apparently it was quite close on some moments when I turned in to the corner. I wasn't intentionally doing that.

"There was no contact. But you are oblivious in these things. Okay yeah in an open car you would have seen them, but you can't see.

"So it is a shame that Peugeot's efforts were tarnished with those comments, because it really wasn't like that at all. As drivers we just drove our hearts out, you don't have to yield under a blue flag in these races - which I think is a bit wrong and I have been on the other end of it myself a whole load of times. Particularly last year. But it is part and parcel of endurance racing apparently."

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