‘petrol class’ at Le Mans 24 Hours
Geneva-based racing driver Harold Primat and French team mates Christophe Tinseau and Benoit Treluyer claimed victory in the unofficial ‘petrol’ class at the Le Mans 24 Hours after a faultless run by drivers and team.
Seventh overall in the world’s most famous motor race, behind the six diesel-powered works Audis and Peugeots, was the trio’s reward at the end of the gruelling event, but to finish as the best-placed petrol car and the top privateer team the real achievement. The drivers performances were error-free throughout the race, while the car ran without a single major mechanical problem to highlight the superb reliability of the Pescarolo Sport chassis.
Having climbed the field steadily during the first half of the race, the #17 car moved into the top seven during the 14th hour and never relinquished their position at the head of the petrol-class field. Their job was complicated in the small hours of Sunday morning by heavy rainfall around the 13.629km circuit, but nothing could distract the team from achieving the result they had targeted prior to the race, as they finished five laps clear of nearest challengers Team Oreca in eighth.
For Primat, seventh overall was his best ever finish at La Sarthe, and he was clearly delighted at the chequered flag. “We’re the best fuel car and that is a big achievement,” he said. “The target before the race was to finish as the best petrol-powered car and that’s exactly what we’ve done. For us, this feels like a victory, and while it’s a shame it isn’t officially recognised as one, it still feels very good. On a more personal level I am delighted to have played my part alongside Christophe and Benoit. I would also like to congratulate the team for providing such a reliable car and for the superb job they did during the race.
“It wasn’t easy out there. The conditions were constantly changing from 4am onwards and every time the track started to dry, the rain tyres began to suffer. But Le Mans isn’t supposed to be easy and I think we can all be proud of ourselves this evening.”
Christophe Tinseau: “Our mission was to finish as the first petrol car and I am proud to have achieved our goal. It was very tense at the end as we had a misfire caused by the starter motor and so we were hanging by a thread. I hope this victory will now help Pescarolo Sport attract the input of a big manufacturer which the team so richly deserves.”
Benoit Treluyer: “I really enjoyed the race, especially my night stint in the wet. We have clinched first place of the petrol cars and for me that is a real victory, even if it is unofficial.”
Team Principal Henri Pescarolo said: “This is a great day for us because we knew there were two races within the LMP1 class, one for the diesels and one for the petrol cars. We have been victorious in the latter against Lola, Oreca, Creation and Dome which is a great achievement. The three drivers were fantastic because the conditions have been so difficult. They have all driven perfectly and I am absolutely delighted for them.”