What the drivers said on Saturday at Le Mans

30 September 2018

Here’s what the top drivers from Saturday’s races had to say...

Race 1

1. Jochen Hahn – Team Hahn Racing | IVECO

“It looks like it’s easy to win this year but it’s not. You have to focus all the time and it’s very close. Sasha [Lenz] made a small mistake, was late on the brakes and went wide. I went in a said ‘thanks a lot.' I don’t have a strategy for Race 2. I just want to enjoy. Hopefully, we can seal the title here at Le Mans.”

2. Sascha Lenz – SL Trucksport | MAN

“On the first lap I had no grip on the front axle, and Jochen could overtake me in this moment. One lap later the truck seemed to feel perfect and I could drive with my style again, like in the qualifying. After six or seven laps I thought 'OK, Jochen, you can win.

"From then we drove for P2, with big distance from P3. So far it’s a nice weekend. I’ll see what we can do in Race 2. Big points always come in the first, rather than second races. If the guys [in front] are fighting, I can try to overtake.”

3. Norbert Kiss – Team Tankpool24 Racing | Mercedes-Benz

“I could see a couple of places where I was a lot faster than him [André Kursim]. I’m pretty sure that IVECO has a qualifying mode or something to end up in front of me in qualifying.

"I’m under a close watch by the stewards so I had to wait for a moment when I was really, really sure. After a couple of laps it came, he made a little mistake and that was enough. Antonio also overtook him right away, which was bad news for me as Antonio was chasing me.

"Fighting with Antonio and Sascha for third, fourth [in the championship] - it's very close and it was also close in the race. Sascha got a little bit in front because of André holding us up. This circuit is much better for out package with longer turns.”

Race 2

1. Andre Kursim – Don’t Touch Racing | IVECO

“We had very good pace at Zolder but the win didn’t come there. Here we knew we’ve very fast since the early running in free practice session. However, we had some problems with the engine this weekend, with the turbo. That’s why I dropped down to P8, it wasn’t a strategy call to claim pole position for the reversed-grid race. Everything was fixed for Race 2 and we did it!”

2. Steffi Halm – Team Schwabentruck | IVECO

“I had a good start and the plan was to catch André and go around the outside in the left-hander but I heard that his tyres were locked up and then I saw him coming. I didn’t have space. If I kept going straight, for sure we would have crashed. Then I cut the chicane and I had to give him the pace back.

"After I had a hard fight with René [Reinert] and I’m not really happy with that because I wanted to fight and in the end, it was not a fight, we crashed. I was lucky because I didn’t’ break anything and I was able to continue. I want to fight hard but not like that.

"After I had a big gap to André and Adam was on my back and he was much faster, especially under braking so I tried to pull away and get some space under acceleration. On the last lap, it was easier because Jochen [Hahn] was coming and Adam had to defend from him. I’m happy to finish second but there was a chance to win.”

3. Adam Lacko – Buggyra International Racing System | Freightliner

“I was trying to pass Steffi [Halm] but when I went very close, all the temperatures went up! Cooling was set to the maximum but it wasn’t enough to cool down the engine. On the last lap, I saw only red lights on my dashboard but Jan [Kalivoda, team manager] told me ‘OK, go! Maybe we’re gonna kill the engine.’ After the race, on the cool down lap, the truck stopped.”