Declarações

Declarações

 1994  1996 

Eric Helary
That edition is a great regret of mine. It was a rainy year, yet the safety car was never deployed despite 19 hours of rain. That year, I was with Courage Compétition in a C34 with an official Porsche engine that Bob Wollek had managed to get. Mario Andretti brought sponsors and I already had one 24 Hours of Le Mans victory under my belt. We should have won. Mario made a small error early in the race at the Karting corners. In the U.S., they don't race much in the rain. He was surprised, the car made contact with the safety rail and we lost 45 minutes fixing the damage. Afterwards it was a real Grand Prix. I drove a lot because Bob Wollek wasn't going very fast, it's true. I took enormous risks, Mario drove very well after his incident and we finished second, three minutes from the winners. I was so disappointed!
We changed the rear hood and it cost us the win. Few people talked about it, but we should have won that edition, despite the incident. It was quite the disillusionment for Mario because he has won everything in his career. He was F1 world champion, he won the Indianapolis 500 and he finished second at Le Mans! He became a great friend, I am still in contact with him and I hate that he didn't win because it would have truly topped off his extraordinary career. He's a wonderful guy. At the time, being younger than he was, he was like a dad to me. Later he invited me to the U.S. to attend races with him. I followed Michael (Andretti, Mario's son, Cart champion in 1991, Ed.) back then and I was all decked out in Andretti. A great memory!

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