Newly crowned IMSA GT Le Mans champion Earl Bamber has lashed out at Pipo Derani for ‘diving like an animal’ and taking out his No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR in the closing stages of Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans.
Contact was made between Bamber’s Porsche and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Derani in the Turn 10a chicane on the second-to-last lap.
No action was taken by race control for the incident, which allowed Antonio Garcia to finish fourth in GTLM, demoting Bamber to fifth at the checkered flag.
“I’m not sure what Derani was thinking on the last lap to dive like an animal and take us out,” Bamber said in the post-race press conference.
“Luckily the Porsche is super, super strong. I think he deserved a penalty, to be honest. I’m surprised he didn’t get a penalty.
“I’ll let the guys upstairs [in race control] decide that.
“I’m quite disappointed in his driving etiquette, to be honest, when he was comfortably leading the race.
“It was a scary moment for us. But the Porsche was super strong. It actually bent the wing but we lucky not to get a puncture from that.
“I think that was the only incident we had all year, to be honest, on the last lap of the championship.”
Derani, who went onto claim victory alongside co-drivers Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran, said he “felt sorry” for Bamber.
“This place has been tricky for me and when that happened I was, ‘OK, not again'” the Brazilian said.
“I flashed him quite a few times and I was side by side with him. I had the impression he saw me because when you don’t know if he’s actually going to turn on you or not.
“To be honest I feel really sorry for them. It’s a shame that happened. But I was under a lot of pressure.
“Unfortunately that happened but luck was on my side this time. It happened [to me] in the past. I didn’t win it and I was lucky enough to win it.”
Derani edged out Jordan Taylor by 0.996 seconds for his first Petit Le Mans victory.