Le Mans 24 Hours winners Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas have both said their shock win won't be realised by the team for a while after profiting from Toyota heartbreak.
The defending Le Mans manufacturer champions had looked settled for second place to the #5 Toyota Gazoo Racing of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima but after the Japanese driver reported a loss of power four minutes before the chequered flag he was helpless to stop his car from coming to a halt on the home straight at the start of the final lap.
Watching on from the Porsche garage, Lieb and Dumas were stunned to watch co-driver Neel Jani duly sweep past the stricken Toyota and claim the unlikeliest of victories having effectively settled for second before the drama.
“We are all on the podium but we haven't realised what happened to Toyota yet,” Dumas said. “We never expected it and to win like that people will always remember what happened. We will take it and not say no to it.”
Lieb also feels Toyota's strategy and race performance deserved a Le Mans victory – the Japanese manufacturer's first at the prestigious endurance event after four previous runner-up spots – but humbly accept the win at his rivals expense.
“For some reason we couldn't do the 14 laps so we were stuck with 13 lap stints, one less than the Toyota.” Lieb said. “It played into their hands strategy-wise as they had more freedom. It was a difficult race for us and we always had to push very hard in all circumstances.”