Franck Montagny says his No. 2 Peugeot crew were taking it easy and cruising toward victory when the car suffered the engine failure that denied it a seemingly certain Le Mans 24 Hours win.
The No. 2 led much of the race before the problem, which would eventually rule out three of the four Peugeots in the race and leave the way clear for Audi to take another 1-2-3.
"We were like five seconds off what we could have done if we'd pushed hard," Montagny told AUTOSPORT. "But that wasn't the point, the point was to go to the end, take care of the mechanics, and unfortunately it didn't work."
He said the engine failures came without warning, and that Peugeot had reassured the drivers that nothing they had done had contributed to the failures.
"You can't see anything. And even if you know it's coming, what can you do?" said Montagny. "Even if you push it's still going to be the same, because the pressure's still going to be the same inside the engine.
"That's what I asked straight away: 'Is there anything I could've done to save the engine?' They said there was nothing. You could've done all the mapping you want, and for this problem it would've been the same."
The Frenchman emphasized that his crew had been working towards a strong race pace all week and felt like they had everything completely under control under the engine blew.
"We were not really pushing, we were very focused on the targets,not on qualifying," Montagny said. "We just focused on one point, which was the win.
"We were just so relaxed and peaceful working together. I could sleep very easily this week, and during the race too. I was just checking the lap times and everything we'd said before was done, no problem at all. It was just great."