European Le Mans Sequence common Maldonado, youthful cousin of one-time Components 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 led to catastrophe within the sixth hour of the race throughout a rain bathe as he skated via the gravel on the Dunlop chicane, amassing 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 group and my teammates who’ve put a lot work into this race.
“Earlier than that, we had been operating effectively, and Nico and Jonathan had begun making their means again via the pack so we had 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 Staff WRT automotive.
“It’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster week,” stated di Resta. “We had a really sturdy automotive and made it via to the Hyperpole qualifying which I believe was a giant 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 probabilities of ending the race.
“We had been fairly excessive up at that time and had been taking a really cautious method from 10:00 o’clock to six:00 o’clock within the evening, however we had that combating spirit and powered our means again to fourth. I believe you possibly can say a job very effectively performed however off the again of our win final 12 months it’s a disappointing consequence.”
Di Resta was a part of the LMP2 class-winning crew from 2020 together with Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque, who had 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 at school throughout the evening when it was hit by an alternator concern 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. “Exhausting for everybody to start with with the rain. We managed to outlive for the nice stint we had within the dry. Sadly, after we had 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 had been undoubtedly on the strike for the win. It’s what it’s. We had been the winners final 12 months. This 12 months we weren’t, however we’ll come again.”