‘Exceptional’ first Le Mans win for Di Resta

Jamie Woodhouse

Paul di Resta wins at Le Mans.

Ex-F1 driver Paul Di Resta won his first Le Mans 24 Hour race and helped secure the LMP2 class title for United Autosports.

Driving alongside Phillip Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque, Di Resta helped his team to victory at the flagship event of the World Endurance Championship with a winning margin of almost 33 seconds over the Jota Sport team in the LMP2 class.

And with a fourth consecutive victory for United Autosports also came the LMP2 title with one round remaining.

Di Resta was making his third appearance at Le Mans and it turned out to be the perfect weekend for the Scotsman and the team after they claimed pole position and the win in their class, finishing fifth in the overall result.

As quoted by Edinburgh Evening News, Di Resta said: “To win Le Mans is exceptional, especially taking into account that we have now won the last four consecutive WEC races – that’s something quite unique.

“I was fastest in Hyperpole to secure us pole-position with an LMP2 lap record.

“Of course with no fans here this year, it hasn’t been the same atmosphere but it was a great race right up until the end. It’ll take a while for me for this Le Mans victory to sink in. The team was magnificent all week and our car never missed a beat.”

Di Resta finds himself P2 in the LMP2 Drivers’ standings after the win.

Overall it was a good day for ex-F1 stars as Sebastian Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley teamed up to win the 88th Le Mans 24-Hour Race for the Toyota Gazoo Racing team.

They completed 387 laps of the 8.467-mile circuit in the LMP1 class – five more than runners-up Rebellion Racing, who included Bruno Senna in their driver line-up.

It was Buemi and Nakajima’s third Le Mans win in a row with Toyota Gazoo.

“Just after the start we had a puncture and then a brake issue,” Buemi told Eurosport. “All of a sudden, you feel like everything is lost. But at Le Mans it’s never the case.

“With what happened to the sister car and the Rebellions, in the end we were there. It’s an incredible feeling, I’m so happy we made it.”

On Toyota’s third win in a row, he added: “It’s amazing. We get to keep the big trophy now, when you win three times. That was the main target.”

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