This year’s legendary endurance race at the Sarthe made for extremely dramatic moments.
Last weekend, the ’24 Heures du Mans’ were held for the 84th time. A race many reams, such as Team ByKOLLES Racing, particularly looked forward to. ByKOLLES Racing, formerly known as Lotus LMP, has been involved in motor racing for 15 years, now, and can look back on a highly successful time in WEC, DTM, Formula One and other single-seater series. With a new front-wheel suspension, aero modifications and several other upgrades in line with the regulations – as well as RAVENOL lubricants in the respective units – the team made a crucial enhancement step regarding the performance of their endurance racer, CLM P1/01.
But there was something very wrong with it right from the start in Le Mans. Ongoing technical problems cost the squad dearly and so, they even had to start into the race from the pit lane. Several unscheduled pit stops cost them even more time and in the end, the entire team including the drivers, Simon Trummer, Oliver Webb and Pierre Kaffer, was extremely disappointed about the race weekend in France.
The Toyota TS050 #5, however, had to cope with an even far more bitter fate: with just about three mire minutes to go, the Toyota raced by Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima seemed to be on the way to secure the superior win in the endurance classic but then, the car was stopped all of a sudden by an engine failure. The entire team was shocked. Engineers, mechanics and everybody involved were desperate and even Toyota President Akio Toyoda was suffering with the team. Meanwhile, the prestigious win in these highly dramatic final minutes was secured by the Porsche #2. The Porsche 919 Hybrid driven by Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and Romain Dumas crossed the finish line as race winner, with team and drivers being virtually over the moon, due to this unexpected triumph. While ByKOLLES didn’t make it to the top positions, this time.
Martin Huning, RAVENOL Motorsport Director, on the partnership with ByKOLLES: “With their impressive history, ByKOLLES Racing suits our motor-racing family perfectly. As official lubricant partner of the team we will make use our RAVENOL premium products to hopefully jointly celebrate successes.”
In late July, the Nürburgring will stage the next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, WEC.