European Le Mans Sequence common Maldonado, youthful cousin of one-time Formulation 1 race winner Pastor, was making his first begin at La Sarthe in United’s #32 Oreca 07-Gibson alongside Nico Jamin and Jonathan Aberdein.
However the Venezuelan driver’s race resulted in catastrophe within the sixth hour of the race throughout a rain bathe as he skated by the gravel on the Dunlop chicane, accumulating the sister #23 United entry of Paul di Resta.
It ended the #32 crew’s race on the spot, whereas sending the #23 automotive to the pits for repairs and extinguishing any hopes of sophistication victory for di Resta and his teammates Alex Lynn and Wayne Boyd.
“I’m clearly devastated with how the race ended,” stated Maldonado. “I’m very sorry to the workforce and my teammates who’ve put a lot work into this race.
“Earlier than that, we have been operating properly, and Nico and Jonathan had begun making their manner again by the pack so we have been wanting good. Hopefully I can come again and tackle one other Le Mans 24 Hours. It’s such an superior occasion to be concerned with.”
Di Resta, Lynn and Boyd lastly recovered to complete fourth within the LMP2 class, two laps down on the profitable Group WRT automotive.
“It’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster week,” stated di Resta. “We had a really robust automotive and made it by to the Hyperpole qualifying which I believe was an enormous job.
“It was then clearly a chaotic begin with the rain, and it was very unlucky what occurred with Manuel making the error he made which t-boned me and ruined their possibilities of ending the race.
“We have been fairly excessive up at that time and have been taking a really cautious strategy from 10:00 o’clock to six:00 o’clock within the evening, however we had that combating spirit and powered our manner again to fourth. I believe you may say a job very properly completed however off the again of our win final 12 months it’s a disappointing end result.”
Di Resta was a part of the LMP2 class-winning crew from 2020 together with Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque, who have been piloting United’s #22 Oreca this time round with common FIA World Endurance Championship squadmate Fabio Scherer, one other Le Mans novice.
The #22 machine was operating within the prime three in school throughout the evening when it was hit by an alternator subject that required 90 minutes within the storage to repair, which mixed with additional electrical gremlins left Hanson, Albuquerque and Scherer 35 laps down on the end.
“It was an unlucky race,” stated Albuquerque. “Laborious for everybody to start with with the rain. We managed to outlive for the great stint we had within the dry. Sadly, after we have been chasing the leaders, we had a problem.
“It’s irritating nevertheless it’s like that at Le Mans. I believe with out that we have been undoubtedly on the strike for the win. It’s what it’s. We have been the winners final 12 months. This 12 months we weren’t, however we are going to come again.”