Paul di Resta has apologised to his United Autosports LMP2 team for crashing out of contention for a class podium finish in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The ex-Formula 1 star, making his La Sarthe debut in the #22 United Ligier JS P217, had just moved up to fourth in class when he suffered a major off at the Porsche Curves at the start of the 20th hour.
Di Resta – who shared the #22 car with Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson – hit an unprotected concrete wall in the incident and was taken to the medical centre afterwards, although he escaped unharmed.
“Massive apologies to the team, who busted their asses and their balls all night to try and make up what we had, the issue [with a missing GPS sensor] in the first hour,” said di Resta.
“We were on the edge all the way, but I’ve got to apologise for making a costly error that’s ended our chances. It looked like we could have been on the podium, but you can always say what could have been.
“We had decent pace when we had been pushing, we had to be aggressive. For someone like it’s going to take a few days to get over, because it hurts when you let people down.”
Di Resta admitted he was having trouble getting his tyres up to temperature, but refused to blame this for the crash.
“I was struggling a bit, because as soon as I left the pits the safety car came out, just never really got up to temperature,” he explained.
“I’m not going to put it down to excuses, because I’ve more than enough experience under circumstances like that. It’s just a law of averages, sometimes you blow it and I blew it today.”
United Autosports team owner Zak Brown told Eurosport: "Paul is physically fine, he's obviously upset. We had a great race going, he drove as did his teammates really well.
“We were closing in on a podium and he just had a snap oversteer moment, corrected the first time but couldn't quite save the second. As he said he feels fine, but his ego's a bit bruised."