24 Hours of Le Mans – Nicolas Jamin (Panis Racing): "We showed our mettle."
Nicolas Jamin, driver of Panis Racing's #31 ORECA 07-Gibson, talks about the French team's third place finish in the LMP2 class at the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans, and shares is long-term ambitions in endurance racing.
What does it mean to you to claim a podium finish in the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans?
"It's an exceptional feeling. The team and I have been dreaming of this for a long time. We're a small family team, 100% French, so this mean a great deal. I've watched the 24 Hours of Le Mans since I was a very little kid and came to see it as a spectator. To reach the podium in just my second participation is incredible. It didn't really sink in in the moment. It's too bad we couldn't have shared it with the fans. It makes me want to do it all over again."
Does this podium finish allow you to set your sights higher for future races?
"This podium finish is proof of the quality of the team and drivers. Since the beginning of the season we've had good showings, but we were unlucky with a retirement at the first round at Le Castellet when we were second overall. We can fight for the podium at every race. This result confirms our momentum. There are two races left and we will give our all to get the best results possible and I hope a win."
This running of the race was your second participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. What did you learn last year that you applied to 2020?
"Last year, I was fortunate to take part in the race with two experienced drivers, Pierre Ragues and Romain Dumas. I learned a lot from them. I was thrown into the fire by having to qualify, take the start and drive most of the night. I gained a huge amount of experience especially in terms of traffic. I had arrived at the circuit kind of in the unknown. This year, I knew what to expect and was able to do well."
""My ambition is an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.""
Nicolas Jamin, Panis Racing
How would you describe the atmosphere within the Panis Racing team?
"It really is a family team. The mechanics have been with us for several years. We were definitely one of the smaller teams in the field. Despite that, we showed our mettle. We did a flawless race. The car was finessed and prepared to perfection. There is a real passion for car racing in the team."
How are you approaching the last two rounds of the European Le Mans Series?
"We can still hope for a podium finish in the championship. That's our aim. It will require very good results at Monza and Portimão. Our goal is to finish in the top 3 at both rounds to figure as high in the classification at the end of the season as we can. It will be a wonderful accomplishment for the team."
What are your long-term ambitions in endurance racing?
"My ambition is an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and to represent a constructor officially. A lot of marques are interested in endurance racing thanks to the Hypercar class (top class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the FIA WEC starting in 2021). The ultimate dream is to join the Peugeot Sport team that will participate in the discipline in 2022."
24 HOURS CENTENARY – THE LE MANS EXCEPTION ┃ In the wake of director James Mangold's presentation of "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" at the Cannes Film Festival, this year's Centenary running of the race offers a flashback of his preceding movie, "Le Mans '66" ("Ford v Ferrari").