24h Le Mans
10/06/2019 - 19:01

24 Hours of Le Mans – Beretta, Fisichella and Lamy, Pro drivers in Am

They've made their mark in Formula 1, joined the most prestigious teams, won races and triumphed in championships on every continent. Now, these professional drivers are competing in the LMGTE Am class, which is characterized by the obligatory presence of two amateurs in the crew. Ahead of the big race, they share their thoughts on switching classes.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Beretta, Fisichella and Lamy, Pro drivers in Am

Giancarlo Fisichella (Spirit Of Race's #54 Ferrari 488 GTE, 10th participation in the 24 Hours, 229 Formula 1 Grand Prix).

"It doesn't change my approach to the race in any way, it's always the same, attack as much as possible and do my best for the team and myself. I think between last year and this year, we've had a good season, starting with our second place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and we're currently second in the FIA World Endurance Championship going into this last race of the Super Season. So it's the most important race of the season. I'm quite optimistic after Test Day on 2 June. Everything went well, the car was well-balanced and the level is pretty equal to our competitors Porsche and Aston Martin, which wasn't always the case during the season. I'm a driver, I hop in the car and it's pedal to the metal! WIth Francesco and Thomas in particular, we are working together on telemetry, on videos. Thomas has made good progress. He's faster and more at ease than last year. I'm really pleased."

Olivier Beretta (MR Racing's #70 Ferrari 488 GTE, 23rd participation, 9 Formula 1 Grand Prix).

"I'm 50 years old. I competed in the LMGTE Pro class for 20 years and it went extremely well. I've been fortunate to work with very good teams and teammates, and Le Mans has been good to me. These days I also do other age-appropriate activities and I enjoy that. It's different, having an amateur driver in the car, but this is still car racing. It's a different sort of approach because you have to give the amateur driver the best possible conditions.

And that depends on him, there are a lot of factors. It's not easy for someone new to car racing to do Le Mans. It is after all a difficult race, the circuit is challenging, the cars are not easy to drive and an amateur driver has a lot to deal with. So it depends on his ability to adapt and learn. Moto (Motoaki Ishikawa, one of Beretta's two teammates, Ed.) crossed the finish line at Le Mans last year for his first participation, he didn't make any mistakes and that's already a success. Now he has more experience. We're going to try for the best result possible, but before talking about results, we have to start at the beginning."

Pedro Lamy (Aston Martin Racing's #98 Aston Martin Vantage, 20th participation, 2nd in 2007 and 2011 with a Peugeot 908, 32 Formula 1 Grand Prix).

"It's not that different. This class is very tough. And it's always the same, you have to attack. Of course, advising my teammates is part of it. I just try to help them, but they already have a good experience level. This class is highly competitive in my opinion."

 

PHOTO: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), PLACE DE LA REPUBLIQUE (SCRUTINEERING), MONDAY 10 JUNE 2019. Pedro Lamy is a true competitor.

Associated news