Q & A: Brundle on Le Mans return

Martin Brundle returned to the scene of his Le Mans 24 Hours victory with Jaguar in 1990 at the official test day last weekend

Q & A: Brundle on Le Mans return

The former grand prix driver spoke to AUTOSPORT about driving the Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time since 2001 with son Alex Brundle and their chances of success in the Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan Z11SN in the LMP2 class come the race on June 16/17.

Q. What were your feelings on returning to a venue that has been so important to your career?

Martin Brundle: Sitting in the drivers' briefing was a 'pinch-myself' moment - I didn't think I'd do that ever again. I always thought this was a great track. I've always championed Le Mans as a track that should feature in people's top three or top five circuits.

Q. What did it feel like getting back out there in the Greaves Zytek?

MB: Going out on the track got the juices flowing; I really enjoyed it. Alex and I had to be very careful to get our laps in. I think we were a bit over-cautious, but we had a job to do. We did our laps, so we are now in the race.

I found myself attacking Mulsanne Corner straight away and our car was great through the Porsche Curves, absolutely awesome. I had to get used to the new bit of track after the Dunlop Bridge, which wasn't here when I raced the Bentley. It's a bit like Becketts at Silverstone.

Q. How different was it to driving the Zytek at the other circuits at which you've tested, Paul Ricard and Snetterton?

MB: The scenery rushes past your peripheral vision just like in Formula 1 when you hadn't been in the car over the winter months or you were going very fast at a place like the old Hockenheim. Suddenly it all normalises, but you've got to have the belief that the car is going to stick in the high-speed corners. There is plenty of scope to have a big crash here and trash your car.

Q. How do you assess your chances in the race?

MB: The first day confirmed how competitive LMP2 will be. We are fine on pace, but there are a lot of good drivers in a lot of a good cars. P2 has changed out of sight. It will be harder to finish in the top three in the class than I perhaps first thought. It is seriously competitive. It kind of reminds me of Group C in the late 1980s. I look down the entry list and see more direct competitors than I did when I was driving with Jaguar.

Q. Do you think this will be a one-off return to Le Mans or could there be further appearances?

MB: I have no idea. This was driven by me wanting to do it with Alex and wanting to introduce him to sportscar racing. Those two boxes have been ticked, so we will have to see.

shares
comments
Q & A with Karun Chandhok

Previous article

Q & A with Karun Chandhok

Next article

Marino Franchitti says DeltaWing potential still untapped ahead of Le Mans

Marino Franchitti says DeltaWing potential still untapped ahead of Le Mans
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Drivers Alex Brundle
Author Gary Watkins
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
20h
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021
Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship Plus

Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship

Beyond the slender grid of headline-grabbing hypercars, there are numerous subplots and changes to look out for in the new season of the WEC, which gets underway at Spa this weekend. Here's the seven key things you need to know about

WEC
Apr 30, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Plus

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Plus

How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no works Aston Martins in the GTE-Pro class. As its new era in Formula 1 begins, Aston leaves behind a legacy of success courtesy of its Prodrive-run factory programme that was a hit from the word go in 2005

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021