Emotional adventure at the 2005 Le Mans 24 hours for Christian Vann and Courage
Britains Christian Vann, driving for the most French of teams, Courage Competition was instrumental in overcoming just about everything the classic French Marathon could throw at him to bring the Courage C60H LMP1 prototype home in 8th place.
In the middle of the night this seemed not just unlikely, but very nearly impossible, as the car was languishing in 20th place after a series of incidents. Christian and teammate Dominic Schwager drove the bulk of the night stints in stifling overnight heat. Dominic began to feel very unwell in the early morning, so Christian continued his punishing schedule along with the cars third driver Alex Frei. Christian himself suffered greatly from the heat after one of his morning stints during which he set the cars fastest lap of the race, followed by a succession of nearly identical times, as he chased down one the Dallaras. Due to the heat the team ran mainly single stints to protect their overheated drivers. This lead to the car finally moving into 8th place around one hour before the race end. Christian was extremely happy with the overall result " I think on overall pace of the car, and a perfect run we could have been 5th, but considering the heat and the problems we had, to bring the car back from 20th to 8th is fantastic, this is my third Le Mans, I've always finished, but a top 10 place makes me extremely proud." He continued, "I have had fantastic support, personally as well as financially, from my sponsors Trafigura and GDE, this was their first Le Mans, and I hope they feel the same sense of achievement as the team all do, and now I think its time for a beer!"
The next outing for the Trafigura backed Courage is the July 10th 1000km of Monza, a race that Christian won in 2001.