The long-awaited 100th running of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans did not disappoint those eager for another dramatic and thrilling race. The DUQUEINE team delivered a spectacular race, with the #30 LMP2 succeeding in taking third place on the podium after a fierce battles with its rivals.
Under a radiant sky, the 24 Hours of Le Mans race got underway at 4pm with Neel Jani behind the wheel of the #30 Oreca. The Swiss started from a modest 20th place, following a mechanical failure during qualifying. After handing the car over to teammate Nicolas Pino, dark clouds closed in and heavy rain fell, creating chaos on track. The DUQUEINE Team was quick to react, switching to wet tyres just as the first raindrops fell, enabling a rapid rise in the standings while others on track suffered run-offs and retirements. Following a strong quadruple stint in the night from Austrian René Binder, Jani again took over the helm of the #30 and made his way to the front thanks to quick lap times and optimised pit stops from the engineers and mechanics.
After several hours of leading, the night turned out to be more eventful, with three punctures dogging the team, dropping them back to 4th place before dawn. The fierce battle between IDEC, Alpine, WRT and DUQUEINE Team continued until the final minutes of the race. In typical style, the Le Mans Gods decided to put DUQUEINE to the test with a broken suspension in the final bend, but Jani was able to nurse his car across the line to finish in third place!
The team from Alès returns with a well-deserved trophy from this memorable edition of Le Mans. Now it’s off to Le Castellet for the second round of the ELMS.
Neel Jani: “Le Mans 2023 delivered an amazing race with heavy rain, hot weather and a lot of action inside the car! After our difficult quali we wanted to make up for it in the race and that we took the lead after hour 12 was an amazing moment for all of us! Unfortunately, several punctures set us back but we could stay in the hunt for a podium! To finish 3rd at the end in LMP2 was a real team effort! Strategy, pit stops and my teammates all did an amazing job during the 24h! I think it is fair to say that we as a one-car team can be proud of what we have achieved at Le Mans for the centenary edition!”
Max Favard, Team Manager: “Teamwork is important in endurance racing. And this year it was vital to have a cohesive, high-performance team. All the technical staff and drivers were determined to not regret anything and to go to the very end of every detail in order to put on a great race! To finish on the third step of the podium at the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is an achievement for this group of people, and one that is sublimated by our three drivers. We’ve had some difficult years, but this performance sets the record straight. Now it’s time to get some rest and set our sights on the ELMS title.