Le Mans: Anthony Davidson 'Obsessed' With 24 Hours Victory


Le Mans 24h Race

Le Mans or a World Championship, which would you choose?

This is the difficult position Anthony Davidson faces as he goes into this weekend's Le Mans with perhaps the best chance to win in seven attempts. However, he also leads the FIA World Endurance Championship after winning the opening two races at Silverstone and Spa with team-mates Micolas Lapierre and Sebastien Buemi.
> With double points on offer, could the former Formula 1 driver be taking a more pragmatic approach to a race that has become an obsession?

"I do feel that if I won Le Mans, it would be me in a much better position to fight for the championship," he told AOL Cars.

"I still feel I would happily take Le Mans if I could only choose one but obviously I'm greedy and I want to win both!"

Davidson is back at Le Mans with Toyota again with the Japanese team in its third year since returning to top level sportscar racing - and 2014 is looking the most promising for victory but as he knows only too well, the 24 Hours has a habit of biting you.

FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Silverstone

Back in 2010, his then-employers Peugeot were in control of the race. Favourites then as Toyota are this weekend, the race was going their way over rivals Audi, even after a broken suspension put one of the 908 diesels out early on. But disaster struck on Sunday morning when engine problems put paid to the other cars. All retired leaving some in the French team in tears as Audi cleaned up. And that still rankles with Davidson.

"Le Mans is unique. It's such a long race. Even if you'd won five races in a row and been two or three seconds a lap faster than any car the entire season it's still not a given that you're going to win that race. I've been there, in 2010, in that very position at Peugeot when we had four cars – four cars! – that should have won the race and none of them did. They all retired.

"So, I've seen it go from looking so good to everything crumbling around you. I'm going into this with my eyes wide open and expecting the unexpected... It's a race that keeps you humble."

The 35-year-old from Hemel Hempsted acknowledges though that on current form Toyota are the bookies' tip for the top step but how much will he pushing on Sunday if the win is possible but a solid points finish more likely.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about the championship and we're in a good position. You don't want to be throwing away double points by having a DNF, so it is a race to finish more than ever to pick up those points.

"But if we're fighting for the victory and it's a close one with the temptation of knowing you can win over happily finishing second and bagging a whole load of points? I think that will overrule the possibility of winning a World Championship at that stage and I think we'll just go for it."

The cache of winning the 24 Hours is not lost on Davidson who admits it would "absolutely be the pinnacle" of his career.

"It's the thing I've wanted to win since leaving Formula 1. I've become obsessed by it, so I won't be happy man until I win that race."