After 71 Years, Bentley is Back on The Podium at Le Mans
Le Mans, 17TH June 2001, 4.00PM... It's taken a lifetime but Bentley is back where it belongs, on the podium at Le Mans. During the toughest race in a generation, Team Bentley's number 8 EXP Speed 8 Prototype defied the conditions, its newness and a total lack of weather testing to let Andy Wallace drive triumphantly over the line, second only to the all-conquering works Audis.
TONY GOTT: chief executive: `It is utterly overwhelming. I am lost in admiration for what the team has achieved today. For myself, I am relieved it is over, overjoyed by the result and proud beyond expression of the company and team.'
RICHARD LLOYD, team principal: `The guys did a fantastic job. It was such a young programme I didn't dare dream of the podium. I expected the top six but this is unbelievable.'
ANDY WALLACE: `The reaction was incredible, there is only one Le Mans and I feel fantastic.'
BUTCH LEITZINGER: `The original Bentley Boys knew how to party but we're going to show them a thing or two tonight. A top ten would have been great, the podium's out of this world.'
ERIC VAN DE POELE: `I was the last man in the team - we just wanted to finish - and I can't believe this. I cannot say how much this means to me.'