Having fought for 24 hours and in the end but a few seconds from the podium: at the 88th edition of the long-distance classic in Le Mans, everything pointed to a top three success for the Project 1 team. But the most popular endurance race in the world has its own rules as is well known.
“Everything went together! But unfortunately that was just not enough this time, ”says Hans-Bernd Kamps.
It was not easy for the founder of Project 1 to put into words the disappointment of the lost podium opportunity.
“Thanks to a perfect strategy and a strong performance from our crew, we were safely in second place. Due to a safety car phase just before the end, however, we lost the lead we had earned and dropped to fourth place. That was bitter. "
Egidio Perfetti, Matteo Cairoli and Larry ten Voorde more than deserved the step onto the podium. The trio were among the fastest in the LMGTE Am category over the entire distance. In the numerous duels for the top positions, the drivers shone with great fighting strength and a low error rate.
A look at results shows how close they were to a top three: The crew of the Mentos Porsche 911 RSR were just eight seconds short of the third-placed finishers.
Teammates Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga finished 14th in the long-distance classic in France. Balance problems in the early phase of the race as well as a collision leading to a stop repairs ruined a better result.
"Here it is all the more important that we analyze the whole thing very carefully in order to be optimally prepared for the WEC final in Bahrain," explains team boss Axel Funke.
“Steve Brooks”, Andreas Laskaratos and Julien Piguet drove the third Porsche 911 RSR from Project 1 to the finish in 16th place. For the trio, the experience was more important than the result: with their participation in the prestigious race on the Sarthe, the three fulfilled a long-cherished dream.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans also formed the penultimate round of the endurance world championship, which will have its finale from November 12 to 14 at the Bahrain International Circuit.