By this time, most Corvette Racing fans have had heard the name Anthony Davidson. He is the Peugeot Driver in the #1 car who believes that the 24 Hours of Le Mans is only exists for the prototypes and every one else just get the hell out of the way.
GT2 class leader Emmanuel Collard was doing 140 mph in the #64 Corvette and approaching the Porsche curves when this gift to racing overtook him with an inside pass that took away his line. Collard was forced to the outside, lost grip and went rear first into a barrier. The crash and time lost in the garage effectively took Corvette out of contention for a podium finish let alone the class win. When Davidson was asked about the crash following his stint, he replied “It serves them right”.
When Collard’s teammate Oliver Gavin heard about Davidson’s comments, he replied on Facebook:
Just listened to Anthony Davidson’s interview on Speed, staggered by his arrogance!!! He believes that we should just get out the way for him… It shows how little he understands about sportscar racing… There are 4 classes in this race, all individually as important as each other, no class has any more right than another. We all have to exist on track together. He said it’s Manu’s fault and deserved to go off!!!!
Davidson is obviously feeling some heat, not only from his actions on the track, but his cavalier attitude about the “lower” three classes in describing the accident. Read his comments now that he is in damage control:
From Autosport.com, the question is “Do you feel confident that the incident with the GT2-leading Corvette wasn’t your fault?”
I’d like to talk about it because I hear the radio commentator here was a bit harsh on me. Maybe I said some things in the heat of the moment that I might regret. Obviously I never want to be a part of, or the reason why, someone’s race might have ended at Le Mans, so I feel sorry for the Corvette guys. I didn’t know that at the time… and I’m sorry for that.
But at the end of the day there was no contact between us. And I did that maneuver on many, many cars throughout the race and not once got into trouble. I was completely cool and fine with the overtaking maneuver, it was a legitimate pass, I was on the racing line and took the corner. Crashes do happen at Le Mans, it’s cut-throat. It’s very close and you have to react and make reactions some times and I think what happened there was just a slight over-reaction and it caught the Corvette by surprise.
I was none the wiser, for me it was just a normal passing move in the Porsche Curves, like I’d done to 50 or 60 other cars throughout the event. So I was a bit shocked when I was being accused of ending someone’s race because I was just completely oblivious. I didn’t even know that he had gone off because of me. Anyway, I think I might have said something like, ‘I don’t care’ at the time, but what I was trying to say was that it wasn’t my race, I’m not racing them so my care was getting my car back into the lead where we belonged.
I was told by my team to drive at 100 per cent and take risks because we knew we had to do that to have a chance. Also when you are in the lead of the race, like we were, you look in your mirrors more, you look at the blue flags more. Those guys know how to win a race and I’m sure someone else in a different situation wouldn’t have been caught out by that.
Davidson says crashes happen all the time at Le Mans. Yes that’s true, but it seems driving on the edge and damn whoever is in his way appears to be his style. Here are two videos showing him going wide and spinning out during the 24 Hours of Le Mans:
On the straight before the Porsche Curves incident with the Corvette, SPEED’s commentators were talking about how aggressive Davidson’s driving was and that “he was out for murder”, and following the crash, the universal concensus is that it was Davidson who caused the incident. The ACO should take notice of this aggressive driving as well as Davidson’s follow up comments to decide whether this lives up to the standards of the world’s greatest sports car race.
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