The Brabham Blogs: LeMans on my Mind
Last year I achieved one of my career ambitions by winning the historic Le Mans 24 Hours with Peugeot Sport. That outright race win followed GT1 class victories in 2007 and 2008 with Aston Martin Racing.
This year I return to France in pursuit of making it four in a row as I race for the first time with the team I took the American Le Mans Series championship honors in 2009, Highcroft Racing, contesting yet another class – LMP2.
Building up to the 2010 race, a lot of people have asked me if I am disappointed not to be fighting for the overall win. Just to compete at Le Mans is an honor and, for me, it doesn’t matter what class you are in. When you win that class it feels like you have won the race.
I know now, having had experience of winning in class and outright, it felt the same. The only difference was people’s reaction to the overall win. Those people have a different perception because certainly for any team member winning any class at Le Mans is no different to winning overall.
Le Mans is a mighty challenge whatever class you drive in. For me, helping Highcroft Racing make its debut is a refreshing, new challenge which I love. Just to go there with Highcroft, a team I’ve raced with for over three years, and help them tick another one of their mission boxes will be just as an amazing experience as it was last year.
I know what it takes to win and with my experience teamed with Marino Franchitti and Marco Werner, who has been just as successful as me with three Audi wins; we know what it takes to win that big race.
It may be Highcroft’s first outing, but I expect nothing less than a stunning performance from the team.
When you go there, you have to have a mindset to do well. It’s no excuse to say, “Oh, but we’ve never been here before” because it’s still a motor race. That means all the things we do in our preparation and execution of Le Mans is no different than any other race.
Highcroft has a winning pedigree built in. Time and time again they have proven they can keep doing things better and better.
Duncan Dayton has taken Highcroft to a countless string of ALMS accolades, including last year’s championship title, and there is a fantastic energy and team dynamic behind everything they do. So as long as we continue to do what we do best then we should make a very strong showing.