Davidson's team has "simple mission" at Le Mans

Anthony Davidson says the DragonSpeed LMP2 squad’s position in the FIA World Endurance points gives it a “simple mission” for this weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

Davidson's team has "simple mission" at Le Mans

The former Toyota LMP1 driver, sharing the #31 Oreca 07 with fellow ex-Formula 1 racer Pastor Maldonado and Roberto Gonzalez, says the American outfit has no choice but to gun for class victory given the ground it needs to make up in the championship.

Trailing the Signatech Alpine squad by 26 points with 39 to play for at Le Mans, DragonSpeed has only an outside shot at title honours. It needs the Signatech car to finish no higher than sixth and the second-placed #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing to place fifth or worse, assuming neither car scores pole.

In the Le Mans test day, Maldonado set the second-best time in class, some two tenths behind Signatech driver Nicolas Lapierre.

“There’s a slim chance [of winning the title] but the car’s been good here in testing,” Davidson told Motorsport.com. “We feel confident, Roberto is fast as well, right there within a few tenths of Pastor and myself.

“Everyone will want to go for the victory here, and they are two teams that have a good chance to win, the race itself counts for so many points you need to have a good one here.

“If push came to shove it would be an easy decision for us to make, we have to win. [For the other teams] it’s a difficult race to give up and consolidate second or third even if it gives them the championship. But for us the mission is simple – it’s all-out for victory.”

Read Also:

Davidson finds himself in the unusual position of gunning for the title on behalf on teammates Gonzalez and Maldonado, but without having a chance to win it himself.

This is because he missed the opening two rounds of the 2018/19 season, including last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, to prioritise his commitments as Toyota’s LMP1 reserve driver. Current Rebellion LMP1 driver Nathanael Berthon took his place for those races.

“There’s a responsibility there from my side,” admitted Davidson. “I’m just going to do my thing, drive a professional drive and hopefully be fast enough to be there at the end to stand on the top step of the podium.”

The former Super Aguri F1 racer also believes the LMP2 contest to be the tightest on the grid, given most of the front-running teams are using the benchmark Oreca 07.

“Qualifying has never been important for this race, but I believe in LMP2 now because it’s so close you need to start somewhere near the sharp end,” Davidson said.

“There are so many cars that are so evenly-matched. I love that about this class. In terms of pure racing it’s got to be the best category because you’re often fighting someone with the same car, with the same engine, and there’s a limited amount of options set-up-wise.

“More often it’s down to the driver than the car. It’s a great category for that.

“Balance of Performance affects the racing [in GTE] – sometimes it works and the racing is super-close, but more often than not it doesn’t allow drivers to battle it out on an even footing. LMP2 does, and as a driver you really enjoy that challenge.”

#31 Dragonspeed Oreca 07: Anthony Davidson

#31 Dragonspeed Oreca 07: Anthony Davidson

Photo by: Erik Junius

shares
comments
Calado expresses Ferrari Le Mans fragility fears

Previous article

Calado expresses Ferrari Le Mans fragility fears

Next article

Aston Martin "back in the game" after tough 2018

Aston Martin "back in the game" after tough 2018
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
15 h
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Le Mans
Jun 23, 2021
How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans Prime

How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans

It's one of the great what-if stories in Le Mans history. Paul Newman finished second in the 24 Hours in 1979, but it could easily have been a famous victory were it not for the resourcefulness of the late Manfred Kremer.

Le Mans
Apr 13, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021