Failure of "10 cents" part cost G-Drive Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 win

Jean-Eric Vergne says that a fault in a "10 cents" part was to blame for the Formula E champion's G-Drive Racing team losing an LMP2 class victory Le Mans

Failure of "10 cents" part cost G-Drive Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 win

Vergne's team-mate Roman Rusinov had a 1m30s lead over the eventual winner Signatech-Alpine when he came in for the car's 28th pitstop with five hours of the 24 remaining, but the team's ORECA 07-Gibson refused to restart and lost 20 minutes while the problem was rectified.

The delay meant the car was four laps down when it rejoined and eventually finished sixth in class, equalling Vergne's best finish in the 24 Hours from 2017 with Manor.

It was the second time in as many years that victory at Le Mans had slipped through his fingers, having crossed the line first last year only to be disqualified for using an illegally-modified refuelling rig.

"It was a little piece that costs basically 10 cents that makes the car start and this piece broke so we could not restart the car," Vergne told Autosport.

"It took us a little bit of time to figure out what it was and to change the piece.

"I obviously feel extremely disappointed - I don't know what to feel.

"But I'm not the first one that it happened to, this kind of thing happens.

"It's very cruel, but it's the magic of Le Mans."

Vergne said G-Drive had been running at a "conservative" pace prior to the delay, having led continuously from the seventh hour for 171 laps.

The two leading cars had exchanged the lead multiple times in the early hours, but G-Drive was established in front in the 10th hour when Signatech's Pierre Thiriet was caught behind a different safety car queue.

"At that point in the race you don't need to push, only bad things can happen," Vergne said.

"But when we had this problem then I said 'OK, whatever', I started pushing and my average speed was two seconds faster.

"Clearly we had the fastest average speed but there was nothing to gain."


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Series WEC
Teams G-Drive Racing
Author James Newbold
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