Despite getting off on the wrong foot, Inter Europol Competition secures a well-earned win

Despite getting off on the wrong foot, Inter Europol Competition secures a well-earned win

Polish team Inter Europol Competition overcame a foot injury to Fabio Scherer to clinch a precious win in the LMP2 class at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. An unexpected, but well deserved success.

Racing drivers can be capable of superhuman efforts when a 24 Hours of Le Mans win is on the line. In the Centenary edition, 27-year-old Fabio Scherer proved it at the wheel of the #34 Oreca 07-Gibson entered by Inter Europol Competition. Corvette Racing’s #33 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R ran over his foot during a refuel in the early stages of the race! “After 50 minutes, I thought that my race was over because it hurt a lot,” said Scherer after his third appearance at the French endurance classic. “But, somehow, with a lot of ice and a lot of treatment, I was able to race or, at least, that’s when the adrenalin kicked in. After that, I was in the flow and it just worked. Now, I’m starting to feel my foot more and more but it doesn’t matter because, to win Le Mans, I don’t care if I can’t walk out of here!”

"It took my breath away. It’s really something special."
Jakub Smiechowski

For the first time ever at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Polish national anthem was played during the podium ceremony to hail the victory of Inter Europol Competition. Jakub Smiechowski also became the first Polish driver to win the world’s greatest endurance race. “It’s amazing hearing today the Polish anthem on the podium,” he said at the post-race press conference. “It took my breath away. It’s really something special. I dreamed of it but I thought that this dream was too big. It’s still unbelievable. It’s just an amazing day for the whole team. When we started the endurance project, we wanted to be at Le Mans. We achieved this dream to be at Le Mans and I kind of always thought that that would be it. But this year, from the beginning, we were really competitive and I thought we could maybe fight for a podium.. or maybe not. In 24 hours, you never know what’s going to happen. Today, the car ran faultlessly for the whole race. All the mechanics were also faultless. I’m just speechless.”

Once again, it was difficult to name a favourite in the highly competitive LMP2 class. Inter Europol, however, ran an impeccable race to clinch its first WEC win in the biggest one of them all. “Although we did the podium in Spa, I thought Le Mans was too big for us,” admitted Albert Costa. “Then when I did the first laps, the car was good and I said to myself ‘This feels good, I can think big’ But not this big! If I’d been offered a podium, I’d have signed for that! But it happened. I’m lost for words, but it’s amazing!” The Spaniard, in hot form since the season began, has fulfilled a life-long dream in competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “Since I was young, I have always followed this big race and I was like ‘Wow! One day I have to be there, I need to do this.’ I worked so hard. First year, first attempt and we win! I can say nothing more than it’s amazing!”

The win takes Inter Europol up to second place in the standings for the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams, a mere four points behind class leader Team WRT.


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