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Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans

Injured foot, broken radio can’t stop Inter Europol from Le Mans LMP2 win

Polish team Inter Europol Competition won the LMP2 class of the Le Mans 24 Hours despite a broken radio system and its driver, Fabio Scherer, suffering a suspected broken foot.

Podium: Winner #34 Inter Europol Competition Oreca 07 - Gibson of Jakub Smiechowski, Albert Costa, Fabio Scherer

It was the first ever World Endurance Championship victory for a Polish team, and the car was chased home by Team WRT’s #41 car that featured Polish ex-F1 star Robert Kubica in its line-up.

The gap between them was just 21s after 24 hours of racing.

“It’s unbelievable, it was so hard fighting to the very last second at the finish,” said Swiss driver Scherer. “For a private team from Poland to win their first win now, it’s amazing.

“It’s been one year of hard work, because after last year we built up the team a bit differently and now we win it, so that’s unbelievable.”

Scherer’s final stints were made harder due to a failed radio system that meant his team were relaying messages from the pit wall with hastily-made signals – for which it received a reprimand from race stewards late on.

“For sure it didn’t help,” said Scherer of the lack of communications. “But at the end I just said ‘I just need to drive flat out’; there was nothing else to do.

“We spoke about it in the box before I got in, and we weren’t sure we could change drivers because the door didn’t open properly, but at Le Mans sometimes you need some luck!”

#34 Inter Europol Competition Oreca 07 - Gibson of Jakub Smiechowski, Albert Costa, Fabio Scherer

#34 Inter Europol Competition Oreca 07 - Gibson of Jakub Smiechowski, Albert Costa, Fabio Scherer

Photo by: Marc Fleury

Scherer was also forced to adapt his driving due to sustaining an injury to his left foot, when it’s understood he was hit by a GTE Am car in the pitlane during the night.

He had to hop on his right leg to the car, and then lever himself into the cockpit.

“At the moment the foot is good because the adrenaline is so high, so I don’t feel anything,” he said. “But tomorrow, I fear it will not be good. But I prefer that and winning the race than the other way around, though!”

His team-mate, Polish driver Jakub Smiechowski, added: “It’s just incredible, what can I say? It’s a dream come true. I think it’s all about the hard work we’ve put in these last few years. I’m really speechless.”

Inter Europol’s third driver, Spaniard Albert Costa, said: “I’m the oldest rookie in the championship, but I’m a rookie who has won Le Mans now. I’m lost for words, it’s amazing.”

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