Louis Delétraz claimed his maiden Le Mans 24 Hours podium finish last weekend at Circuit de la Sarthe as Prema ORLEN Team secured second place in the LMP2 class of the classic twice-around-the-clock event. For Louis, it was a positive comeback from his 2021 heartbreak, when a last-lap technical issue deprived him of what would have been a deserved win.
Lining up alongside teammates Robert Kubica and Lorenzo Colombo for his 2022 effort, Delétraz provided a scintillating performance even through adversity. After the #9 Oreca racecar took the lead straight away, a slow puncture forced the 25-year-old Swissman to dive back to the pits for an unscheduled stop.
In the following stint, Delétraz was able to fight back to a podium-contending position, which more high-performance stints further improved. Traffic as always at Le Mans was a major key, like managing the constantly-evolving track and grip conditions.
With long quadruple stints in the night and morning, Delétraz put his expertise to fruition as the team solidified second place. Although a couple of late strategic gambles had given hopes, the eventual winners could not be reached. Also, lingering mechanical issues required an even more sensible drive, while competing with one of the most outstanding pools of talents in the sports. Second place allowed Delétraz to sample the thrill of the Le Mans podium for the first time, and while the satisfaction is certainly there, he’s now hungry for more.
In addition to the pure competitive aspect, Delétraz had the chance to feel the warmth of the local crowd with the media activities that preceded the race. First and foremost, the public driver parade, returning after a 2-year-break due to the pandemic. It was a special occasion for Louis, as he participated for the first time in 2007, alongside his father and race driver Jean-Denis.
Delétraz will now shift his focus to the USA to continue his high-intensity season as he will enter the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen IMSA Race in less than two weeks.
Louis Delétraz: “It has been my first podium in Le Mans and a great satisfaction after last year. In addition, it was the first for Prema ORLEN Team and a really good result overall. We had a positive race although Jota, I have to say, was super strong, and they really deserved the victory. I really enjoyed it. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen and I’m looking forward to the future! Of course, I wanted to win, but P2 is extremely important, and it can really launch us in the championship with a great boost of points.”