With the 11th quickest time in qualifying, René Rast was charged with taking the start of the 2014 edition.
For its first participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Sébastien Loeb Racing opted to race smart. For the first third of the race, René Rast, Vincent Capillaire and Jan Charouz focused on avoiding problems while maintaining a good prace despite weather conditions that were sometimes quite difficult. After eight hours of racing, the No. 24 ORECA 03R is running in seventh position.
With the 11th quickest time in qualifying, René Rast was charged with taking the start of the 2014 edition. The German driver was quickly able to gain two positions. After a good first pit stop, René took sixth place, battling for a top five position. Unfortunately, early in the first hour, a safety cone became lodged under the car leading to a quick off at the Mulsanne corner. No harm done and the No. 24 was able to rejoin the action after a quick pit stop to check the state of things. Vincent Capillaire took over at the wheel, taking the track under difficult conditions, with rain making an appearance on several occasions.
The Sarthe-native was solid and committed no errors during his stint lasting more than three hours ! It was then Jan Charouz who took the controls, continuing the good work put in by his teammates to remain just outside the top five at the end of his double stint. René Rast returned to action at the start of the seventh hour for a triple stint, which he completed without issue. As night time takes over at Le Mans, Sébastien Loeb Racing currently runs in seventh place in class.
Sébastien Loeb, Team Manager: “ This first third of the race went quite well. We are following our plan, especially not to commit any errors. We had a couple of moments with the off at Mulsanne and the weather. We were trapped a little in that situation, but we preferred to play it safe. After one or two hours of racing, it was useless to take a big risk by staying on slicks in the rain. The drivers are following orders and the race will be long. We have to stay with the race. “
René Rast: “ It was exciting to start my first race in a prototype here at Le Mans. I was able to gain two positions in the first few laps. The second stint was more complicated. At Mulsanne, I braked like all the other times before but I went straight into the gravel. When I pitted, the team found a green cone under the car ! Our competitiveness is better than during qualifying so overall it’s positive. “
Vincent Capillaire: “ I really enjoyed myself, and I’m starting to see what Le Mans is really about. It’s simply magic. I took over under difficult conditions and the strategy made it so that tyre choice was not easy. We had a little bad luck during one of the safety car periods, but those things happen. We mostly focused on avoiding issues, but my pace was still good. So it’s all good ! We are following our plan : be patient and be smart. “
Sébastien Loeb Racing