24 Hours of Le MansFIA WEC

Lotterer Reveals Mounting Issue Caused Opening Corner, Opening Lap Clash

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Credit: Craig Robertson

Andre Lotterer has revealed that a mounting issue on his Rebellion Racing R13-Gibson was the cause of his first corner incident that saw him lose the nose of his car and clip the DragonSpeed entry of Ben Hanley.

Initially it appeared that the German had clipped the back of the Toyota Gazoo Racing machine ahead of him heading around the kink ahead of the opening turn, but Lotterer had already realised that there was an issue with his car, with his team confirming to him that it was a problem with the mounting of the nose that caused the incident.

“Everyone thinks I hit the Toyota but if you look closely, I didn’t,” said Lotterer.  “I came super close but actually I had a good run at the start, [but] I wasn’t going to do anything.

“I just got close, see what happens, maybe stress them a little bit but not do anything crazy.  I got really close, then my nose came off, I completely lost control, so actually I was lucky because it could have been a lot worse. 

“The team clarified with me there was a confusion with the mounting. It’s crazy that one minute into the race and already in trouble.

“I didn’t realise immediately but suddenly my front got super light and lost a lot of downforce and then I was like ‘oops, I’m in trouble’,” he added.  “So I managed somehow not to go off, at first.

“I thought I wouldn’t be able to make the right hander, I was drifting off, but somehow I managed to keep it on the track but unfortunately with my momentum, hit the other car.  I couldn’t do much.”

Lotterer says the team will need to investigate why the nose was not attached properly to the car at the start, but he feels they have the car to chase down their main rivals in the LMP1 privateer class.

“They’ll probably need to investigate that more in detail but it was clear there was something not right,” said Lotterer.   “If I would have touched the Toyota, it wouldn’t have been enough to lose your whole nose.  These things unfortunately happen.

“Good thing is we came back, we did a good operation with the set-up, and [we will] try to catch back up to the leading cars.”

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