ORECA team boss Hughes de Chaunac described himself as desolate after Loic Duval was forced to pit the #4 Peugeot with a broken driveshaft.
The privately-run 908 HDi FAP had been running second and on the lead lap through the night of this year's Le Mans 24 Hours, until it ran in to problems at the halfway stage of the race.
"We had a broken right driveshaft so we were obliged to change it," de Chaunac explained.
The repairs cost the team five laps and dropped the car to sixth position. Asked how disappointed he felt, de Chaunac replied: "I think this feels stronger than just being disappointed. I am really, really sad because I think we tried so hard to put this car really at the front and we cannot believe we have had such a problem. It has never happened before during all the tests that Peugeot has done, or we have done. So I am really, really upset."
De Chaunac added that he was delighted by the competitiveness of his team, but that it was a tonic for missing out on a chance for victory.
"I am very proud," he said, "but you know it is only at three o'clock on Sunday, when you know who is a good team and who is not. We have to be on the podium, and now we have missed it."