In a Racing.GT exclusive, take a wander down pitlane in-between sessions at the Le Mans 24 Hours with Porsche factory driver Kevin Estre. Afterwards, James Newbold caught up with him for a chat.
Remarkably, Le Mans is due to be Estre’s only event on home soil in his busy season, so the 27-year-old is determined to put on a good show in the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR he shares with defending outright winner Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet.
“It’s the biggest race in the world, the biggest race of the year and of course as a Frenchman it’s extra special, so it’s the one where you really want to have a good performance,” he said.
“Having Nick who won overall here, plus Patrick in his eighth participation is a big help because they have more experience than me. There is a really good atmosphere between us three, we know each other quite well now because we’ve done races in the US together, the Nürburgring and now here.
“Everything is looking good on our part, so let’s hope that Nick brings us the luck that he had last year!”
Estre has only one previous appearance at Le Mans in LMP2 last season, so is prepared for a very different experience this time around.
“It’s not like I’m starting from scratch because it’s important to have experience on this track during the night with the traffic, but for sure when it’s a different car, there’s some new stuff to learn,” he said.
“Last year I was overtaking quite a lot of guys and looking in the mirror of the LMP1, now we are the smallest class in GTs looking in the mirror a lot more.
“This year there are a lot of LMP2 and a lot of different levels, there were some that were very slow that cost us a lot of time. It’s kind of a nightmare to overtake an LMP2 because they accelerate better, but then in top speed there’s not a big difference and when there’s an Am in the car they brake earlier, so it’s tough for us. It’s going to be interesting!”