Di Resta wins Le Mans 24-Hours 20 | 09 | 2020

    SCOT PAUL DI RESTA took a dominant victory in the gruelling Le Mans 24-Hours. The 34-year-old from Bathgate admitted it was “unbelievable”, and that it would take some time for the significance of the win to sink in. (Related: Interview — Paul di Resta ready for Le Mans assault)

    Partnered by Portuguese racer Filipe Albuquerque and England’s Phil Hanson in the No22 car, the trio were the class of the field.

    “It’s all a bit of a dream at the moment,” Di Resta, who qualified his United Autosports Oreca on pole position in the ultra-competitive LMP2 class after setting a new lap record, beamed. (Related: Di Resta bags LMP2 pole position at LM24)

    “To win Le Mans is an exceptional achievement. This has been a massive team effort by everyone at United Autosports. It’s been a huge amount of work by everyone, but to finally see Phil take the chequered flag at the end of the race was emotional."

    Di Resta and his team-mates have now won the last four consecutive rounds of the World Endurance Championship, a point not lost on the Scottish former F1 racer.


    "It's pretty cool to be able to say we have won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but I think the biggest thing is winning four-in-a-row,” he said. “You win three in a row and then you come to Le Mans and you'd think your luck would be up, but I think we were hopeful that if we just carried on doing what we had been doing then we would be fine. But to come here on Friday and win Hyperpole, break the lap record and then win, it's unbelievable.” Related: Paul di Resta bags first WEC win

    But while the win was enough to clinch the world title for Albuquerque and Hanson, Di Resta missed out on becoming world champion because of a clash of dates last year.


    “I missed the round at Fuji in Japan last November, because I was competing for Aston Martin in DTM at Hockenheim on the same weekend,” the Scot explained. “So it means I’m actually 15 points behind the two guys. It’s a strange one, but it is what it is. The main thing is, I’ve just won Le Mans.”

    Di Resta’s No22 car took control of the race after its sister No32 United Autosports car suffered an oil leak on Sunday morning.


    Comfortably controlling a lead of around 90-seconds over the second-placed No38 Jota car, there were sudden nerves with 15 minutes remaining when it was realised Hanson would need to make a late stop for a splash of fuel.

    When he rejoined the race with less than 10mins remaining, his lead had been slashed to just six seconds. But as Hanson slowly increased the advantage over the closing laps of the 8.47-mile La Sarthe circuit, Anthony Davidson was forced to pit the No38 car for fuel.


    “As soon as we saw Anthony pitting, and with less than 10 minutes remaining, we knew we had it,” Di Resta, who works with Davidson as part of the Sky Sports F1 punditry team, smiled.

    “The last few days have been tough; really tough. This is, without question, the most demanding race in the world.

    “And this year it’s obviously not been the same because Covid has meant there’s no spectators. But it was still fantastic to stand on the top step pf the podium and celebrate winning Le Mans.”


    There was further Scottish celebrations when Kirkcaldy’s Jonny Adams powered his TF Aston Martin to victory in the GTE Pro-Am class. It was the Scot’s second win at Le Mans, having taken the GTE Pro class win in 2017.

    The overall LMP1 race was won for the third year in succession by Toyota, in what was their last appearance at Le Mans in the hybrid era.

    Related: Mitchell maintains British GT title push

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    Jim McGill

    All photographs copyright of United Autosports

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