Gavin "battling to understand" how Fassler to blame for crash

Oliver Gavin says he finds it baffling that Corvette stablemate Marcel Fassler was judged to blame for the crash that eliminated the #64 car from the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Gavin "battling to understand" how Fassler to blame for crash

Fassler, in the car he shared with Gavin and Tommy Milner, suffered a heavy crash at the Porsche Curves just beyond one-quarter distance, after the Swiss driver tagged the #88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche of Japanese gentleman driver Satoshi Hoshino.

The three-time Le Mans winner was taken to the medical centre and then a local hospital for a CT scan, but escape the impact with nothing worse than bruising.

While the stewards assessed Fassler a 7,000 euro fine and six penalty points on his licence, Gavin said he held Hoshino entirely to blame for the incident, pointing out the bronze-rated driver had changed his line at the last second.

"What happened with Marcel is just crazy," Gavin told Motorsport.com. "For us to get turned into the wall by an Am driver who is clearly out of his depth, looks terrified, he'd been off numerous times [already]…

"When you are competing in multi-class racing and you're making split decisions, you're looking for cues, you're picking up all the body language from the car in front. And he [Hoshino] gave absolutely every single indication he was keeping out of the way.

"He was 45km/h slower, he let the previous two cars go by [on the inside] and then he just does something random and pull right down on the racing line, takes us clean out of the race. That sort of thing is something that needs to be looked at again."

He added: "The guy driving our car [Fassler] has won Le Mans three times, so he certainly knows what he's doing. He knows the deal and how to get it done.

"So for the fine to be given to him and the penalty points, it's just… I'm battling to understand how that's right."

Fassler's crash left the #63 car of Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller and Jan Magnussen carrying Corvette's hopes, and heading into the morning hours the trio were locked in a close fight with the leading AF Corse Ferrari.

However, when Magnussen pitted under the safety car in hour 21, he was held at the end of the pitlane – giving the #51 Ferrari crew a one-minute lead it could nurse to the finish.

Shortly after, Magnussen spun at the Porsche Curves while trying to claw back the lost ground, hitting the barriers, an incident for which the Dane accepted the blame.

"When the safety car split us, the win was gone for sure, but we could have still had second," Magnussen told Motorsport.com.

"Then I didn't keep enough heat in the tyres. So when I clipped the kerb at the Porsche Curves, I spun and hit the wall, and damaged the suspension.

"Horrible feeling. I can't even begin how to describe how I felt for the guys, all that hard work to come away from nothing. They deserved a lot better."

Gavin said watching the challenge of the #63 crew fall apart in the final hours was painful for him to watch.

"It was very hard to see what happened to the sister car, with the safety car and then Jan's accident," he said. "They deserved the victory today, they were fast all race and led for long periods.

"That's just very tough, but it's the nature of the race. It chooses you and it chose the #51 [Ferrari] car today."

shares
comments
Vandoorne: Le Mans podium "shows what I can do"

Previous article

Vandoorne: Le Mans podium "shows what I can do"

Next article

Top Ford GT disqualified from Le Mans results

Top Ford GT disqualified from Le Mans results
Load comments
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans Prime

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Prime

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021