Porsche factory driver Romain Dumas believes that none of the three LMP1 manufacturers will have a clean run in next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, going on the form of the opening two races in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
So far, Audi has won both races on the road (although its winning car was excluded at Silverstone), while Porsche has had the fastest car in both events but suffered technical problems, punctures and crashes.
Meanwhile, Toyota struggled for pace at Silverstone but retired from a winning position at Spa with an engine failure.
“The first target for Le Mans is to find reliability for all of us,” said Dumas. “And that includes [Porsche]. The one who finds reliability will win Le Mans.
“I’m sure none of the three manufacturers are sure to finish the race without any problems.”
Reflecting on the form of the opening races, Dumas said a repeat of Porsche’s 1-2 finish of 2015 was far from a foregone conclusion this year – especially as both Porsche and Audi have each reduced its entries from three cars to two.
“At Silverstone the surprise was Audi,” added Dumas. “But then Toyota was strong at Spa, in terms of degradation of the tyres especially. And I think Toyota has made a very good car for Le Mans, I’m sure.
“The surprise can change very quickly this year, it looks like.”
Dumas even quipped that French sportscar veteran Henri Pescarolo, who won Le Mans four times as a driver, should return with his team.
“I was joking with a French journalist, and said ‘you should call Pescarolo, I’m sure he can be on the podium at Le Mans – even win the race!’
“This year, so far, has been completely crazy – a lot of crashes, a lot of dirty racing between the categories, so we have to do our own races, our own championship, and see later on what’s going on.”
Interview by Jamie Klein