Laurent sorry for "unforgivable" mistake after Spa crash

Signatech Alpine LMP2 driver Thomas Laurent has apologised for the "unforgivable" mistake that led to his huge crash at during Saturday's Spa round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Laurent sorry for "unforgivable" mistake after Spa crash

Laurent suffered a major shunt at the high-speed Blanchimont corner towards the end of the penultimate hour of the six-hour contest, destroying the #36 Alpine-badged Oreca 07 he shares with Andre Negrao and Pierre Ragues.

Read Also:

It marked the end of a long run of points-scoring finishes in the WEC for the French squad dating all the way back to the 2015 Nurburgring round.

Laurent had been battling the Racing Team Nederland Oreca of Frits van Eerd for second in class, but the two cars made contact just after both drivers passed the slower GTE Am class Red River Sport Ferrari 488 GTE on different sides.

While van Eerd was apologetic for the incident speaking on TV afterwards, former Rebellion Racing LMP1 driver Laurent pinned the blame for the accident squarely on himself.

"I am disappointed and sorry for the team for this unforgivable mistake," said Laurent. "Up until then, the weekend was almost perfect with an excellent job done by everyone, especially the mechanics during the pit stops and from Andre and Pierre at the start of the race.

"For my part, everything was going fine until this accident. Second place would have been good for us before going to Le Mans, but above all we have to continue the progress we have made with a car that is now very good in qualifying and easy to drive in race conditions.

"I also feel good, I don't feel any pain and I'm already looking forward to aiming for the top step of the podium at my favourite circuit."

Prior to the crash, Laurent had been locked in battle with the United Autosports Oreca that ultimately went on to win the LMP2 class, with Paul di Resta repassing Laurent after having the place taken away in a breathtaking pass by the Frenchman at Eau Rouge.

The #36 car was on course for second place and its first podium finish since the 2019/20 season-opener at Silverstone last September before the accident.

Signatech team boss Philippe Sinault suggested that Laurent could have been more patient trying to pass bronze-rated van Eerd in the Racing Team Nederland car.

"It's always unbearable to leave empty-handed after having a near-perfect week," said Sinault. "It's racing, but it's still a bitter pill to swallow. Today, the podium was ours for the taking as we confirmed our level of performances seen in Austin [where a brake failure consigned the #36 car to sixth in class].

"I'd like to thank the technical team and the drivers for their great reaction and for taking a big step towards being real contenders for victory at Spa. This should have put us back in the running to defend our title, but this accident puts us in a bit of bother.

"This unfortunate racing incident has wiped out all our efforts. While it wasn't [Laurent's] fault, he could have perhaps avoided it by waiting a bit longer as we were quite sure to secure the second place."

#36 Signatech Alpine Elf Alpine A470: Thomas Laurent

#36 Signatech Alpine Elf Alpine A470: Thomas Laurent

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Winning Toyota drivers expected to be third at Spa
Previous article

Winning Toyota drivers expected to be third at Spa

Next article

Merhi stays with Eurasia for Le Mans after WEC return

Merhi stays with Eurasia for Le Mans after WEC return
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Prime

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive FIA World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Motorsport.com recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
1 h
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Prime

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained.

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Prime

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the FIA World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out.

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021