Oliver Jarvis has given a heartfelt address to his Toyota Gazoo Racing rivals who cruelly saw its #5 TS050 Hybrid machine suffer engine trouble in the final five minutes of Le Mans 24 Hours to lose out on a certain victory.
After the #5 Toyota of Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi shuddered to a halt on the home straight at the start of the last lap, Jarvis and Audi co-drivers Lucas di Grassi and Loic Duval inherited a third place finish but it is one the British driver will not remember with any fondness.
In a passionate and honest press conference, Jarvis says he would prefer to see the #5 Toyota up on the podium rather than his own team having led for the majority of the Le Mans 24 Hours and was denied a certain win – which would have been Toyota's first at the prestigious endurance event.
“It is a strange feeling because quite honestly we'd rather see the Toyota guys up here,” Jarvis said. “It is not how we wanted to be standing on the podium. Yes we fought hard, we did our jobs, but everyone can agree it is not how anyone wanted the race to finish.
“I don't know how the Toyota guys personally, I only know some of the drivers and some team bosses but I am absolutely gutted for them. I'd absolutely give up my podium spot to see them up there and the reward for their hard work.
“You can run this race one thousand times but you'll never see what you saw today. Who can believe an engine can last 23 hours and 57 minutes.
“At the moment my thought are with Toyota and not on our own performance. When we leave the track we can worry and focus on that. But for now congratulations to Porsche but I have a heavy heart because we leave with the strange feeling as I think everyone involved and the fans will.”
The third place for Audi ensures it maintains its outstanding run of finishing on the podium in every Le Mans 24 Hours it has entered, while Toyota's second place with the sister #6 machine acts as its fifth runner-up spot at Le Mans.