Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber, and Nico Hulkenberg drove to overall victory at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans despite none of them having prior LMP1 experience.
Tandy: “When Porsche announced a third car for Le Mans, they needed three drivers for it. It was clear that you can’t just take three guys who are doing another series full-time, because they’ve got their own job. So it had to be made up of guys from different areas of our sport.
At the end of the day Porsche picked the three candidates they felt could do the best job, and it just happened to be that two [Tandy and Bamber] were from their GT program and one [Hulkenburg] was from Formula 1. It was about who could do the best job in that car at Le Mans.
Actually, when you look at it from a team point-of-view it was quite a good combination of relationships; three younger guys at the same points in their various careers. It was good motivation for all of us.”
And since then you’ve been on fire
Tandy: “I’d like to say a lot of it comes from me, what happened in France and what Porsche have done over on the other side. But of course everything that happens here is based around what happens in [the WEC] program.
Porsche has won the last four [Tudor United SportsCar Championship] races--we won three and the Falken Team won at Watkins Glen—since summer break. It’s down to what’s been happening in this series and the work that’s gone into this car, because it’s a little bit different from the cars they’re racing the WEC.
But the teams in the WEC look at what we’re doing in the Tudor Championship and we all take inspiration from each other. Everybody’s happy and the good will and good feelings and confidence roll into each other. So [the Le Mans win] plays a little part, of course.”
The strategy for the rest of season
Tandy: "For the teams and drivers’ championships, clearly we need to work out who our main opposition is and race against them. At the moment it’s the #3 Corvette and the #25 BMW. As long as we finish in front of or just behind these two cars we’ve got a good chance to win the [team] championship. What we can’t afford to have them winning and we’re finishing eighth. But we’ve got a decent late lead in the points and there’re only two races to go.
We need two solid Top-3 finishes. We don’t need to win both the races. The main thing now is the championship. We’ve won races. It’s a points race. We need to beat the others who are around us in the points.”
How is Circuit of the America’s circa 2015?
Tandy: “Good. There’s a little bit less grip generally on the track surface than we had when we were here last year. From the practice sessions it looks quite good for us. We’re quite fast on a single lap, but we look even better after several. The race pace is better for us. So even if we qualify further down than normal, I’ll be confident regarding the race.”