Panis retires from Le Mans racing

Olivier Panis has called time on his Le Mans racing career, stating that his fifth position in last weekend's event will be the last result he will post at La Sarthe

Panis retires from Le Mans racing

The 44-year-old former Monaco Grand Prix winner has competed in four Le Mans for ORECA since 2008, and this year shared the team's privately-entered year-old Peugeot 908 HDi FAP with Nicolas Lapierre and Loic Duval.

But the Frenchman is quitting Le Mans because he thinks his chances of securing a drive that will put him in contention to win the race are low.

"I have been very pleased to do this with ORECA for four years, but for me this is my last year," Panis told AUTOSPORT. "For Le Mans yes. I will do some races in GT and the Trophee Andros on the ice but for me Le Mans is finished.

"I think it is my time, and I don't think I will have the opportunity to race with a nice car like we have had for the last two years, and doing Le Mans for the sake of doing Le Mans - I am not interested."

Panis added that fifth place - which equalled his best result in the race - was the best he could have hoped for in the race, given that Peugeot and Audi both brought three-car factory teams.

"We knew before we came here that it would be difficult to fight with the factory cars," he said. "The result was exactly what we expected to be honest, it was just we went about it the hard way!

"Audi and Peugeot did a very good job and finished very close at the end of the race. It was really tough with a lot of accidents. But no injuries for anybody is the best thing so well done to Audi."

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Series WEC
Author Simon Strang
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