Tristan Vautier admitted responsibility for the crash late on in the Mobil 1 Twelve hours of Sebring that saw the #90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Cadillac’s challenge for race victory end in the turn seventeen wall.
Vautier had just taken over the car from Matt McMurry and was set to take the Cadillac to the chequered flag, but his out lap was his undoing, with the Frenchman suffering a flat spot on a tyre as he impatiently changed a switch on his car, before he ran wide and onto the marbles at turn seventeen that saw him unable to avoid a hard hit against the outside wall.
The car had been a contender for the win all day long, and Vautier praised his team, including co-drivers McMurry and Eddie Cheever III, for giving them a car able to challenge at the front of the field, but he also apologised for giving them so much work to do before the next race of the season in Long Beach next month.
“It started from the beginning of the out lap,” said Vautier. “I flat spotted a tyre because I was too impatient trying to change a switch on the car.
“When I got to Turn 17, I locked up a bit. I didn’t feel as though I was as wide as I was, but when I realized my left side tyres were in the marbles, I tried to get on the gas. But once you’re in the marbles, it’s like ice, and the wall came to me pretty quickly.
“I’m very sorry for the guys, because it was a big crash and it will take a lot of work to repair. But my hat is off to the entire team, they gave us an amazing car today. Our pace was good and the car was good throughout the entire race. I’m just sorry it ended like that.”