Although now everything is happiness for the victory achieved in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to the Argentine Jose Maria Lopez, English Mike conway and the Japanese Kamui Kobayashi It was not easy for them to reach the goal first due to a mechanical failure that had them bad to bring during the last part of the competition.
Pechito himself admitted that the inconvenience in Toyota GR10 HYBRID N ° 7 of Toyota GAZOO Racing it made them think that victory would be elusive again, as in previous years.
"We had a big problem, which was the same as the car number 8 suffered at Monza", explained the Cordovan to WorldSport (AM 990). “The problem originated in the naphtha tanks, which were new and came with some kind of failure. The waste remained inside and, slowly, covered the gasoline pump ”, added López, who clarified that stopping to fix the damage would have meant losing 40 minutes.
The flaw appeared first in the Swiss prototype Sébastien Buemithe Japanese Kazuki Nakajima and the New Zealander Brendon Hartley and then it was replicated in Lopez, Conway and Kobayashi's car.
“I got up after my break and was ready for the third shift at dawn. At that time Buemi told us about the problems that existed and he slipped that the best thing was to stop the cars in the pits to repair them… Hearing that was going back a bit to the ghosts of previous years where some failures had deprived us of achieving victory ”, the Rio Tercero confessed, although this time the story had a happy ending.
“Measures had to be taken not to lose the race. An engineer came with a guide and told the pilots that we should reset the pump sensor at each braking and turn it on again at each acceleration, so when it stopped and started the dirt that was stuck would come off and when we turned it on we could throw it away 500 or 600 meters more. That was what helped us to get to the end. At first it seemed impossible, but it was achieved. Those six or seven hours were difficult ”, explained the WEC champion, about an incident that adds an extra flavor to the well-deserved victory.