VOICES OF LE MANS: DAVID BRABHAM AND MARINO FRANCHITTI
The listing of storied motorsport names at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year is a long one. David Brabham and Marino Franchitti are firmly entrenched among the most popular at Le Mans this year, particularly among the legions of British fans who annually attend the event. Brabham, driving a factory Peugeot 908 HDi, and Franchitti, in Drayson Racing's Aston Martin Vantage GT2, are well aware and appreciative of the significance and meaning of Le Mans in racing.
"It's a race I've done 15 times. It's the highlight of my year, and it's such a historic event. When you think of the drivers, the cars, the history of the place, it's truly amazing. It is one of the biggest races in the world so it's a great privilege for me to be competing and I'm going there this year with a great chance of actually winning the race, driving for Peugeot. Acura, Duncan Dayton and Patron Highcroft Racing allowed me to go and do the race. I'm really looking forward to it because to win there overall is something I've always wanted to do. I've won the last two years with Aston Martin in the GT1 class, and to go there and win this time would really top that off nicely. When you compare the Le Mans 24 Hours to American Le Mans Series racing, I don't know what it is, but there is a difference. There's a different feel and a completely different crowd; you've got to feel it. You go to Le Mans and there is a completely different feel."
"The good thing about (the American Le Mans Series) running under ACO rules means that everything is very similar when you're racing at Le Mans. I think that if you're driving in the Le Mans Series in Europe or you're driving in the American Le Mans Series, you have an advantage over people that may be driving different championships. For me there are very small differences. Obviously it's over a week that you're there so it's quite easy to get tired out. I feel very lucky to drive in the American Le Mans Series because it prepares you well for Le Mans. As a sports car driver, it's the biggest sports car race in the world; it's what made me want to be a sports car driver. It means everything to me. I think the closest thing to it is the Indy 500 for atmosphere. It's the only other place in the world where it makes all the hairs on your arms and neck stand on end. There have been so many great battles there, and I think we'll see more this year especially in LMP1 and in GT2. I think they're going to be unbelievable battles and competition between the cars. I think they're going to be making history this year, so it's going to be interesting to be there."