Datum: 16.06.2011 · 24h Le Mans
First retirement at Le Mans for Pierre Ehret
Pierre Ehrets sixth Le Mans appearance turned out to be the shortest edition of the classic sportscarrace for the 54 year old german pilot. After taking the flag on all 5 previous races, the Ferraripilot and his compagnions Roger Willis and Shaun Lynn scored a DNF at the 79th edtion of the classic race on the last weekend. After an accident of Lynn at the 7th hour of the race the CRS-crew cancelled the race due to the damages of the Ferarri F430.
The weekend got an cruel start for the trio as Ehret explained. „After 2 consecutive accidents in practice and qualifying on wednesday and thursday we were way behind the other teams in terms of setup and topspeed. Wednesday evening Shaun lost the car into a spin at the Michelin chicane and was collected by the Porsche of Jörg Bergmeister who couldn´t avoid our car when it rolled back on the track. Thursday Roger lost the recently repaired car in the Porsche Curves and hit the wall hard.
The CRS-Guys had done an awful job in repairing the car twice when we started the race, but due to the limited track-time the laptimes were poor as was the topspeed. We also had a notorios understeer that did contibute to the previous facts. Our opponents in the class drove circles around us, while normally we would have had them under control. That was frustrating and maybe we took some too high risks to keep contact. My only stint on the car was ok but even me beeched it once in the gravel at Indianapolis, which fortunately did not hurt the car too much. Unfortunately Shaun had less luck in the 7th hour of the race when a spin caused him hitting the walls in the Ford-chicane hard with the backside of the car. There it remained for some time before we could free the wheel that was stuck into the fuelcell. Unfortunately we needed to complete a whole lap to the pit as Shaun had just passed the pit entry when crashing. On the way back the clutch called it a day and so did we when we learned the bent car would not be ready in a safe race condition in reasonable time.
The chassis is after this weekend that bent, that we will bin it and instead buy a new F430 Tub from Michelotto. Probably this is the last he has in stock, but it will be more safe to rebuild the car with a new chassis than to try to fix the old one.“
„All in one it was a demanding and frustrating weekend. Our honours go to the CRS-Guys who were not tired in fixing the car after each incident. At least we were not involved in some bad accidents as were the Audi guys or our class-opponent Horst Felbermayr Sr., who got the worst injuries at his years Le Mans. We hope he will recover soon.“
The 79th edition of the 24h of Le Mans was decided at the front between the works-LMP1 of Audi and Peugeot. After Audi lost 2 R18 Tdi in highspeed accidents in the first half of the race the remainig R18 of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoit Treluyer defended its lead fiercly against the 4 remaining Peugeot 908 up to the flag. At the finish of the 24hour-race the lead on the following Peugeot of Sebastian Bourdais, Pedro Lamy und Simon Pagenaud was a merely 13s.
The GTE-Am class, where Pierre Ehret and his colleagues started was taken by the frensh Larbre Competition team in a double win. The Corvette of Patrick Bornhauser, Julien Canal and Gabriele Gardel leaded the Porsche of Christophe Bourret, Pascal Gibon and Jean-Phillipe Belloc home to a doublewin.The american Doran-Ford-GT of David and Andrea Robertson and David Murry scored the last podium in the class after the JMB-Ferrari hit technical troubles in the last hours. Just this 4 of 10 started GTE-Am-cars finished this years race.