#1 Porsche was driving 'conservatively' before Le Mans retirement
|By Glenn Freeman||Sunday, June 18th 2017, 14:52 GMT|
The drivers from the #1 Porsche that retired from the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours on Sunday morning said they had been trying to drive really conservatively.
The car of Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy and Neel Jani found itself in a commanding position when every other LMP1 car, including its sister #2 machine that went on to win the race, hit major trouble over the first half of the race.
The #1 car was managing a huge lead over the best of the LMP2 runners on Sunday when it lost oil pressure with Lotterer at the wheel.
Despite his attempts to complete a slow lap on electrical power to get back to the pits for repairs, he eventually had to park up on the Mulsanne straight.
"We were driving really conservatively but suddenly the oil pressure dropped," said Lotterer.
"To retire this way is hard, but this is Le Mans.
"It's a pity, very sad. You almost wanted to not believe it.
"I tried to bring the car back with only the battery.
"Maybe we could have done something at the pits, but it's tough when the engine dies on you."
Jani added: "We tried to nurse the car home but it was not to be.
"Mentally the stints were quite hard anyway because when you are not pushing to the limits, too many things and thoughts come up.
"Last year we had the luck on our side [when Toyota retired from the lead in the closing minutes] but this year was not the case."
Earl Bamber, one of the winning drivers in the #2 car, said it was "hard to believe what happened" to the #1 machine.
His fellow 2015 winner Tandy said it was tough to run a clean race with so much action going on around them.
"There's been so many incidents in this race, it's unbelievable," said Tandy.
"There was a lot of debris on the track, it was tough to try to look after the car and avoid punctures, for example.
"I listened out for any strange noises in the car like never before and all seemed OK."
The #2 919 Hybrid completed its recovery from a seemingly lost cause by passing the LMP2 #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA for the lead in the 23rd hour to salvage the race for Porsche.