Henri Pescarolo said he took the decision to ensure that his team's Dome-Judd took the chequered flag in the Le Mans 24 Hours to repay his team for the hard work it put in at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
The French team endured a fraught week with issues on both of its cars through qualifying and the race, with the new Pescarolo 03 an early retirement with engine problems after driver Jean-Christophe Boullion had already been ruled out after a practice crash.
The team's Dome S102.5 also suffered problems that meant it spent lengthy spells in the pits before the decision was taken to park the car and then rejoin to the take the chequered flag.
Although not classified having failed to reach 70 per cent race distance, Pescarolo said his team deserved to see the car take the flag at the end of a trying race.
"Almost a DNS, followed by a DNF after less than five hours into the race for the Pescarolo 03 and the Dome S 102.5 not classified, the raw results do not plead in our favour,” he said. “However, the Pescarolo team is far from falling from grace.
"The Pescarolo 03 posted a very honorable time in qualifying and the Dome was by far the fastest private LMP1 during the night, but the V8 Judd suffers from problems that have severely handicapped us. On #16 (the Pescarolo 03), an engine broke after two laps during the warm-up. And the next one, fitted for the race, quickly overheated and suffered from a chronic lack of power. As for #17, the vibrations generated by the Judd damaged many peripheral elements, causing multiple unwanted pit stops until Sunday 9:30, when we had to stop after a new engine problem.
"I wanted to pay tribute to the exceptional team of mechanics, for their outstanding dedication and professionalism, so I decided to restart the Dome for the final lap and pass under the chequered flag. They deserved it! And I especially want to thank our partners who supported us in this adventure."