Circuit de la Sarthe
Zytek Wins At Le Mans
Six lap victory in 24-hour race’s LMP2 class
Zytek took an emphatic LMP2 class victory at this weekend’s Le Mans 24-hours. The Greaves Motorsport entered Zytek-Nissan Z11SN of Karim Ojjeh, Tom Kimber-Smith and Le Mans newcomer Olivier Lombard won the category by a massive six lap margin. It was first time one of the Repton-based manufacturer’s racecars had been victorious in the world-famous race although its V8 engine powered the LMP2 victor here in 2007.
To underline Zytek Engineering’s success, the Greaves Z11SN was powered by one of the Zytek Engineering developed and serviced Nissan VK45DE engines. These were introduced following this year’s change to production-based units for LMP2.
Karim, Tom and Olivier led the class from the 11th hour, one of the three Nissan/Zytek engined cars that dominated LMP2 for much of the race. Following Zytek’s own chassis in second place was the Signatech Oreca-Nissan of Soheil Ayari, Franck Mailleux and Lucas Ordonez. At one point in the race the Nissan/Zytek-engined cars occupied all the top three spots in class. The Greaves Motorsport entry also finished in eighth place overall beaten only by the larger cars of the LMP1 class.
“It was a great result for the team,” said Tom. “They’ve worked really hard. The car ran faultlessly – no issues, no punctures.” The only moment of concern came towards the end when Tom was caught out by the greasy conditions caused by light rain, spinning into the gravel at the Dunlop curves. By this time the Zytek’s lead was such that it hardly mattered. Tom also praised his team-mate Olivier Lombard. “He only sat in the car last week,” he pointed out. “It has been extraordinary for me to win at Le Mans aged 20,” said Olivier. “I have to thank the team for its confidence in me.”
For Karim, it was the culmination of a long and determined campaign to win at Le Mans. “It’s like a university degree,” he said. “There are some things that can never be taken away from you."