At the end of a race full of twists, Team DUQUEINE Engineering crossed the finish line of the 24 Hours of Le Mans seventh in the LMP2 category.
Saturday, June 15 at 3:00 pm, Nicolas Jamin started the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 13th position in the LMP2 category. After a good pace from the first laps, an incident came to stop the momentum of the Team after only 40min of race. A puncture in the end of the first sector slowed down the car on the rest of the 13.6 km long circuit. The Oreca 07 came out of the pit lane last in the overall standings with two laps to go from the other cars. It was a new race that started for Team DUQUEINE Engineering. After 2h30 of racing, the car came back on the LMP2 class and was in 19th position. One by one, the three drivers fought for putting the N. 30 car on top of the category.
16th after five hours, 12th after eight hours, 10th after nine hours, 7th after 15 hours... After 19:40 race, Romain Dumas left the pit lane P5 then P4 after a few minutes by overtaking the United Autosports N. 22 prototype. The following hours, the car N. 30 fought to keep this precious position. At 22:45 of race, Nicolas Jamin entered the race to finish it. 40 minutes from the checkered flag, a new blow struck the car: the tie rod broke requiring a return to the box. The car came out P7 and crossed the finish line at the same position.
Although the end result may seem frustrating, the team's performance has proven that DUQUEINE Engineering can be one of the most serious competitors in the LMP2 category.
"I am very satisfied, we came here to live an amazing event, one of the greatest races in the world. We did it to live strong emotions and show what we are worth at the highest level. We showed that we knew how to do it and especially we had a lot of emotions: strong, some that make us happy, others less. What I remember is still this puncture at the beginning of the race, and especially the recovery that was made later with the cohesion of the drivers, the team. The end... It's like that. But at least that will make us to come back!"
"Living the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a great experience for the whole team. On the technical side, there was no mistake in the pits, all pit stops were perfect, guys were amazing. The drivers were excellent, they pushed hard and fought to the end. After the start of the race, we discovered the hard law of the competition, that is to say a puncture very early in the race that put us last in the standings with two laps behind the other competitors. The whole team worked hard during 22H40 by managing to go up: we were 4 seconds from fourth place. Everything was fine but a broken mechanical part. I am disappointed in the result because the team deserved a fourth or even a third place without this bad luck. Congratulations to all competitors on the podium and especially to Alpine for the work provided, congratulations to them!"
"There is the magic of the 24 Hours and the nightmare of the 24 Hours. It started very hard when we broke in the first forty minutes, it made us lose two rounds. We resumed telling ourselves that we had to give everything and each of us drove hard, we all tried to go up and it worked rather well. It was encouraging and motivating. The team was doing a great job, pit stops were very fast, whether it was driver or tire changes. Everything was going well and in the last forty minutes we had a technical problem with a tie rod that required a new stop to change it and we lost precious time in the last moments. It's hard but it's Le Mans."
"We had a very good race overall, I think we made a no-fault. But this race was a little like the roller coaster: a puncture at the beginning, and a mechanical part broken at the end. The rest was perfect. In any case, congratulations to the team for this first participation, there was no error strategy, either concerning the mechanics or the agreement between drivers. It can always happen with a race as long as this one to hang someone, it was a fabulous job for everyone, very honestly there is nothing to say. The result can make us sad but for the first time, finish is already a lot. The whole team can be very proud of what they have achieved!"
"It was an incredible race, there were ups and downs. The puncture at the start of the race (40 minutes) makes us lose two laps, but it is not at all the spirit of the team to give up. Everyone kept pushing, working, always looking forward. We gave ourselves 110% on the track to go up. It also energized the mechanics, and showing them that the car was working through their work upstream has allowed us to move all the way up to fourth place. It gave a lot of hope to everyone, we even dreamed of a podium. The last minutes were quite long, it happened this breakage at the worst place of the track, on the starting line. It took us a lot of time. We must remember in any case is that we arrived very prepared. Congratulations to all the team, the mechanics who made no mistake on pit-stops. They have been successful and positive the whole race, they can be proud of them. I can not wait to come back here with them to Le Mans to win this great race."
Free practice - P11 (3:31.416)
Qualifying session 1 - P5 (3:28.653)
Qualifying session - P12 (3:28.653)
Qualifying session - P12 (3:28.195)
24 Heures du Mans - P7 (3:28.984)