Porsche GT Team is replacing the chassis on its No. 92 GTE-Pro class entry following Kevin Estre’s accident in Thursday evening’s Hyperpole for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Frenchman lost control of his Porsche 911 RSR-19 at Indianapolis, making rear-end contact with the barriers that ultimately led to “heavy” chassis damage according to Porsche’s Head of WEC Operations Alexander Stehlig.
“We had an accident yesterday, actually a very, very small mistake from Kevin,” Stehlig told Sportscar365. “I don’t even want to say mistake because [he] was just pushing.
“He lost the car and he unluckily hit the barrier.
“We had heavy damage on the car and we had to replace the chassis. But that’s something that the regulation allows.
“At the end of the day our chassis change is not something you dream to do. But on the other side, we are prepared for this situation. It’s just a plan we work on.”
Stehlig said that work began once they got the car back to the garage, where they stripped the damaged chassis down to before retrieving the spare, previously run, chassis to build up.
Per ACO rules, a complete car change is not allowed and existing components must be carried over from the originally raced car.
“The guys worked a little bit longer into the night than planned but they went home for a sleep, they came a little bit later and we work a little bit in shifts to keep the individual load down,” Stehlig explained.
“It’s not that we’ve done a night shift. Not at all. It’s just a little bit different. We’ve had a little bit more work but still the guys had sleep.
“They’ve come here relaxed and they will finish today like they planned in the late afternoon.
“The worst result is that [Kevin] couldn’t drive in Hyperpole and that this car missed FP4. Apart from that, it’s actually OK.”
Estre “Very Disappointed” With Himself
FIA World Endurance Championship GTE points leader Estre said he was “very disappointed” with himself for going off prior to being able to make a run in Hyperpole.
“The start of the lap wasn’t great, somehow I didn’t get a feel for the brakes and I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be,” he explained.
“I lacked the confidence that’s needed.
“I was a touch too fast in the Indianapolis area. I lost the car and hit the tire wall backwards.
“It wasn’t a major crash, but the rear is badly damaged – it’s such a shame for our team.”
Estre will share driving duties of the newly rebuilt No. 92 car with Michael Christensen and season-long WEC co-driver Neel Jani.
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report