Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones has raced in the 24 Hours
of Le Mans three times – 1994, ’ 95 (RIGH T) and
’ 96, the latter giving him a best finish of fifth overall.
105 THE SPIRIT OF LE MANS RETURNS TO AUSTIN. FIND GREAT TICKETS AND VIP PACKAGES AT CIRCUITOFTHEAMERICAS.COM/LSLM/TICKETS
Q&A WITH SIR LINDSAY OWEN-JONES
Prototypes and GT cars sharing the same
track has always been an essential part of
the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That unique mix
is at the heart of the burgeoning FIA World
Endurance Championship, too.
PRESIDENT OF THE FIA ENDURANCE COMMISSION
In your role leading the Endurance
Commission, you provide the technical
regulations for endurance racing worldwide.
What can you say about any technical
evolutions for LMP1 in the near future?
Our approach to rule making is to be
transparent, predictable and rational, and to
give things time so that everyone’s on board.
Don’t expect to see something surprising
and unpredictable! The rules have created
excellent, close racing with some fantastic
and surprising results, so we’re not going to
disturb that equilibrium any time soon. You
can expect to see fine-tuning in, for example,
the amount of fuel we give the cars either
relative to each other or overall, just to
make sure that everything is scrupulously
fair and they don’t go through the sound
barrier…we have to keep an eye on that.
You have a great deal of experience with
sports cars, both on and off track. Why
do you think the WEC is more and more
at the forefront of world motorsport?
When a series has such an explosive
What special memory can you share
development as this, it’s always because
there are several factors going on at the
same time. In our case I think there are
three. For the first time in many years the
ACO and the FIA are really working together
and I’d like to say, without any false modesty,
this is under my vigilant surveillance! It’s a
fantastically strong combination: the ACO
with its unique experience of Le Mans, and
the FIA with all its other championships.
The second factor is that it’s absolutely
relevant to everyone’s daily motoring. People
can see this instinctively – hybrid technology,
plus all competitors directly involved in
providing and testing systems to their utmost
over long periods of time. It’s totally relevant
to improving your family car next week.
Finally, we’ve created the most fantastic
racecars. They are big, mean-looking and
extraordinarily powerful. If Darth Vader
had a racecar, this would be it!
with us of an experience in the USA?
I have many memories of racing my old
cars in the States and I too have a soft spot
for Sebring. There’s a special atmosphere
there, with lots of family fun, and that’s the
unique American approach we’d like to
recreate. One recent memory is being
taken around the COTA track by Yannick
Dalmas – it’s awesome, not insipid or
boring like some modern tracks. We’re all
impatient to go there and have some fun.
(LEFT TO RIGHT) Pierre Fillon, Sir Lindsay
Owen-Jones and WEC CEO Gerard Neveu work
together closely to move the series forward.