Jean-Eric Vergne says that G-Drive Racing’s comprehensive LMP2 class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans was harder than it looked as he fulfilled a long-held career dream at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The #26 Oreca 07 Gibson entered by G-Drive led all but 10 laps in LMP2 through the 24 hours at Le Mans, with a stunning first stint from Vergne allowing the team to hit the front after the first cycle of pit stops before forging a healthy lead in the hours that followed, maintained by Andrea Pizzitola and Roman Rusinov through their stints.

Vergne ultimately took the chequered flag with a two-lap advantage over G-Drive’s closest LMP2 competitor, Signatech Alpine, with the victory following previous successes for the team at Spa in the FIA World Endurance Championship and at Monza in the European Le Mans Series.

“I’m very pleased. It’s been a fantastic season so far, both in Formula E for myself, and in WEC and ELMS, and today at Le Mans,” Vergne said.

Magic of Le Mans

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“Le Mans is something I always wanted to win. Last year I did it with a team that didn’t really give me the best chance to win it, and I always thought that I love this race, and next year I want to do it to win it.

“I talked to Roman. I believed he had the best team. We needed to find the best silver driver, and Andrea was the best silver driver that has been ever racing in an LMP2 I believe.

“We came here with a very strong programme. Our race was our one to lose. We were clearly the favourite on paper. It’s never easy when you come here as the favourite, because you cannot push very hard, as Roman explained. You need to be very careful in traffic. When you don’t push, you make mistakes.

“It was not an easy race, as much as it looked from the outside.”

Vergne started his racing career at Le Mans as a youngster, and said that while his class victory ticked off one major goal, he is keen to secure overall honours in the future.

“I’m looking forward to the new regulations that are going to come out, and hopefully one day I’ll be able to fight for the overall win,” Vergne said.

“One part of my dream was fulfilled today in winning our category, but the next one is to win the overall Le Mans.”

 

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