Intrahistory of a triumph at Le Mans: breakdowns, miracles, night games and the crying of Miguel Molina

Lto victory of Miguel Molina in Le Mans will be remembered at the end of the year as one of the great triumphs of Spanish sport (and of course, motorsports), but many things that happened in those 24 Magic Hours They will never know.

Some others do. One of them was revealed by the protagonist himself as soon as he finished the race, when he explained that in the same Grille outputbetween VIPS and photos, the Ferrari mechanics They were working discreetly to change nothing less than the throttle sensor.

The reward of the Le Mans podium came after a long-suffering 24 Hours.Julien Delfosse / DPPI

Voltage from before starting

In a recent meeting with MARCAthe protagonist, Miguel Molinadetailed this moment… and some more that occurred during the race and that were not known until now.

“They are one of those things that show you that that was the day when it was time to win“, says a Molina, still excited and with the champion trophy at his side, never less than a meter from his figure. “When Niklas arrived [Nielsen] to the pre-grill we saw that the accelerator sensor was not working well and they started to change it. They were almost an hour working on the car, while all the people were taking photos. We, our mechanics and The engineers were waiting for the sensor change…and that the new one worked”

Luckily, #50 started towards what would later be a historical tour: “Maybe it was amulet of our career because we went out, everything started to work well, Niklas made a amazing output, took first place in the first round. We had victory as our goal, all the desire in the world and from there everything came very naturally: We solve all the decisions we make and all the difficult situations. to perfection,” recalls the one from Lloret de Mar.

Pre-grill moment with the mechanics working on the Ferrari 50.BRAND

That moment of tension that came to light after the race and the one that everyone saw live, when The Ferrari door remained open after refueling, causing an out-of-sequence pit stop, raised the Italian team’s heart rate. But there was more.

Two ‘great moments’

Miguel Molina had to ‘dance’ with many hours of rainseveral of them at dawn and after the Safety Car, and others in full competition. AND neither one nor the other were simpledespite what it may seem.

“In my relays there were of moments. One on my second lap of the race, when I played the piano of Porsche curves, the one outside, next to the wall. That It was a ‘wake up!’. But we saved him.” There would be a second: “Then when I got to Mulsanne she started to rain suddenly, I lost control of the car a little But, I don’t know why the car slowed down, I turned and left the curve… avoiding two cars in between when I overbraked. Those two moments perhaps were not seen…but I remember them well.”

Molina had to deal with storms and abundant water during his reliefs.Julien Delfosse / DPPI

Rain, traffic… are factors that always play a role in Le Mans, which can put a pilot in trouble and that the rest of us mortals understand as normal. But we are probably more surprised by what a pilot has to do during four hours behind a safety carthree times slower than normal and without competition itself.

This is what happened in the middle dawnwhen many fans took advantage of the lengthy impasse del Safety Car to sleep or to shelter from the rain. The pilot cannot do one thing or another

The slowest relay was the hardest

“That relief was, perhaps, one of the hardest things I’ve ever been in a car“, confesses the Spaniard. “because spending three and a half hours at a constant speed all the time, from three in the morning to six, which is when your body stops, no matter how much you try to train it, it It’s unnatural to stay awake… well it was very hard.”

Miguel Molina’s ‘trick’ to maintain concentration on Le Mans night

The curious thing was the way to overcome all those obstacles physical and mental: “I got it through some game and talking to the engineer.” When MARCA asked him to detail those games, Molina He explained it like this.

“First I started look, between one lap and another, how long it took us in completing it. Were 10 minutesall laps were 10 minutes [un ritmo normal de carrera está en el entorno de los 3:35]. Then I tried save as much energy as possiblethat is, being super concentrated to minimize the times I accelerated, braking as little as possible, changing gears… So I could maintain that tension, stay active and not fall asleep“.

There was also some less correct idea: “I talked a lot with the engineer. He told me at one point if I wanted him to play music for me, but I replied that that would only make me sleep more. “They were complicated hours,” he acknowledges… but precisely for that reason the Molina’s stark cry when he completed the feat.


Davide Piano

An experienced journalist with an insatiable curiosity for global affairs on newshubpro

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