Porsche’s two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Earl Bamber says the #2 winning car “had nothing to lose” after giving up an hour in the pits before its dramatic comeback to win the 85th running of the French sportscar classic.
Bamber, who won alongside fellow Kiwi Brendon Hartley and Germany’s Timo Bernhard, explained that the crew “risked it all” to get back into a winning position after a front-axle motor required replacing.
“It’s so magical to get the win for Porsche today in those circumstances – It’s what endurance racing is all about,” Bamber told Fox Sports.
“I was driving at the time when I heard it go ‘bang’ and I thought it was our race done. I brought it back to the pits and the guys looked into it, and we were back out in under an hour.
"It was a matter of fighting back into the top five at first, then that became a podium and then a podium became a win.
“We were counting the seconds, a few hours out it looked like it might be down to the last lap whether or not we’d pass. It was incredibly tense in the pits and we were going flat-out all the time.
“It was basically a sprint race when we got back out – we had nothing to lose. We risked it all and got the reward.”
Bamber also said his second overall victory at Le Mans was more special as it was with his long-time friend Hartley.
“I can’t believe it, to win it with my childhood friend Brendon, it’s incredible,” Bamber added. “We were both seven years old and he taught me how to drive!”