WEC - What the Drivers Say…About Le Mans | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

WEC - What the Drivers Say…About Le Mans

  • gb
15.09.20

The 24 Hours of Le Mans winner’s trophy is one the most sought-after awards in motor sport and a special achievement for those who have stood on the top step of the podium.  Three of the leading FIA WEC drivers, including two FIA world champions, spoke about what makes Le Mans special for them.

Sebastien Buemi

Reigning FIA World Endurance Drivers Champion has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice in the Toyota TS050 Hybrid.

What is your first memory of Le Mans?
“I think it’s when the Toyotas were leading back in 1998 or 1999. I remember the car getting a puncture towards the end of the race and I was around 10-years-old. Then at the Geneva Motor Show the car that raced Le Mans was there and I remember taking a picture of it on the Toyota stand. It’s pretty strange to think that more than 20 years later, I won Le Mans in basically the granddaughter of this car.”

And what is your favourite memory of competing there?
“Winning Le Mans has to be my favourite memory. The worst one was 2016 was when we retired during the last lap while leading and the best is 2018 when we won for the first time with Fernando [Alonso] and Kazuki [Nakajima].”

If you could go back in time and choose to compete in Le Mans on any year, what would it be and why?

 “This question is difficult. Of course, I would have loved to race in the 60s when they had Ford against Ferrari. Especially having seen the film, Le Mans ’66. I also would have loved to race in 1960 when my grandfather [Georges Gachnang] raced at Le Mans. It is difficult to compare the different years. I enjoyed competing against Porsche, Audi and when Nissan was involved. I have been very lucky to race at Le Mans during some amazing years.”

Alessandro Pier Guidi

Alessandro Pier Guidi and his teammate James Calado became the first recipients of the FIA World Endurance GT Drivers Championship title at the end of the 2017 season.  In the 2018/19 season the Anglo-Italian duo were unable to defend their world crown but did take a memorable LMGTE Pro victory at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans for Ferrari.

What is your first memory of Le Mans?

“It was when I was a child and I was racing karts.  My father and I were fans of F1 and I also remember that Le Mans was a big fixture in the motorsport calendar. Unfortunately, it was harder to watch Le Mans on TV than it is nowadays, but we were always trying to find out news from the event.”

And what is your favourite memory of competing there?

“That’s easy - definitely last year when I won with James [Calado] and Daniel [Serra]. I wanted it so, so much! We all worked very hard for the win and I will always carry that feeling with me.”

If you could go back in time and choose to compete in Le Mans in any year, what would it be and why?

“I'd probably choose the sixties to compete for overall victory in a Ferrari.”

Richard Lietz

The Austrian driver won the 2015 World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers and is always at the forefront of any endurance battle in the Porsche 911 RSR. 

What is your first memory of Le Mans?
“Easy - the flying Mercedes!”

And what is your favourite memory of competing there?

“My very first Le Mans back in 2007, winning with a French team in France was special. Also working together for the first time with legend Norbert Singer is something that I will never forget.”

If you could go back in time and choose to compete in Le Mans on any year, what would it be and why?

“I think 1998 would be a good year. The Porsche GT1 is one of my all-time favourite cars, working together with Norbert Singer and the Porsche works team would be my choice.”