Paul di Resta says his late crash at last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans still "haunts" him as he looks for redemption with United Autosports this weekend in the LMP2 class.

Ex-Formula 1 driver di Resta was in contention for a class podium finish at Le Mans last year racing alongside Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson in the #22 Ligier JS P217, only to crash out towards the end of the morning and leave the car with terminal damage.

It was a disappointing end to di Resta's Le Mans debut, which he admitted is still on his mind ahead of this year's race.

"It haunts me what happened last year. I’ve never had the responsibility, taking that away from the whole car crew and other drivers," di Resta said.

"You can screw up your own race, but you’ve got to take an element of that. I said to them, I made a mistake and I don’t do it very often. I hope it doesn’t happen here. But at the same time, you get what you get with me, and you’ll only get 100 percent. If it goes that way, it goes that way, and if someone else does it, they do it - you’ve just got to expect it.

"We’re not here to make up the numbers. Naturally the Oreca looks a very strong car and it is always a strong package around here. You’ve got to be at the top of your game to beat it."

Di Resta is racing as part of an unchanged line-up in the #22 United Autosports entry this year that will start sixth in class on Saturday at Le Mans.

However, still using the Ligier chassis, di Resta said the team faced an outright pace disadvantage compared to the teams running Orecas in LMP2 that needed to be made up elsewhere.

"You just have to look, it’s a second and a half up in qualifying," di Resta said of the Oreca.

"You’ve got to be clinical, you’ve got to be 100 percent, and you’ve got to have good morale within the team."

The Briton was happy to have returned to LMP2 as part of his ongoing duties with United, which will extend into the 2019-20 WEC season where he is part of the full season line-up for the team.

"I think it is the most competitive class, and I think the driver line-ups are very strong. I know you’ve got a silver in there, and predominantly your silver will probably make up the difference between where you are," di Resta said.

"For someone like myself who has a manufacturer tie, Le Mans, with Mercedes, I could never get in that. Now it seems like you can do manufacturer outside stuff, people are accepting of it that there is other stuff and you can do other stuff. I think this fits very well with what I do in my programme. United Autosports isn’t a brand with any manufacturer.

"But it’s very cool little team actually, it’s nice to come and see what British humour is about again."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...