Ozz Negri has escaped injury following an high-speed accident in the closing hour of Sunday’s official test day at Le Mans.
The Brazilian lost control of his No. 49 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda on the entry into the Michelin Chicane, following a suspected mechanical failure for the LMP2 contender.
“It was my out lap, so I was just getting going and braking early for everything,” Negri said. “When I got to the brake zone for the second chicane, as soon as I went to the brakes the car shot to the left. You have the braking markers there, it is very distinct.
“You brake at the ‘one’ marker for that chicane and I had already braked at the ‘two’ marker with it being my first lap.
“As soon as the car turned left, I knew it was going to be big. It’s one of those things. I think something happened with the rear of the car, that’s what I felt.
“It is too bad, I had just done my 10 (qualifying) laps earlier today and this was my first chance to get out there to explore and experiment but then this happened. But we can bounce back like we’ve done before.”
While the car sustained considerable damage and forced an early end to the test day due to extensive barrier repairs, the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring race-winning chassis held together, with no reported tub damage.
“This is a really tough way to end our day,” said Mike Shank. “I’m so grateful that Ozz is okay. That was a high-speed place to have this happen, and the car protected him well but has a lot of damage.
“But a lot of what was broken were components that we would be replacing before the race anyway. The day had gone well up to that point. We had a good car, we got everyone their laps in and were just working through our test plan.”
The car, with Laurens Vanthoor, John Pew and Negri completed 75 laps over the course of the two four-hour sessions, with Vanthoor’s 3:38.589 lap putting them 9th on the time sheets in LMP2.
Shank said he expects repairs to be completed in time for a shakedown on the Bugatti Circuit on Tuesday.