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Henri Pescarolo says he is disappointed by Jean-Christophe Boullion's withdrawal from this year's Le Mans 24 Hours due to injury, but has backed his No. 16 squad to cope in the Frenchman's absence.
Boullion crashed heavily on Wednesday at the La Sarthe circuit, damaging his ribs in what he described as a "very violent accident." The team was able to repair the 03-Judd in time for the second qualifying session, and eventually captured 13th on the grid. Boullion did not get back in the car, however, and officially withdrew from the race on Thursday.
"Of course I am disappointed because I like him and I think it is better to have three drivers," team owner Pescarolo said. "It is too late now, but anyway I was at Le Mans myself sharing with just one other driver, so I'm not worried on that front.
"He didn't mention anything about safety [concerns] to me, he just said he lost the car and that we had to find the reason. We found it in the telemetry, and then Collard and Hall drove for a long time with no problem, but he had some pain in his side and thought he was not able to drive. His injuries were not too bad, but he didn't want to drive the car at all."
Boullion said he withdrew out of a sense of fairness to the team, knowing that he would not be able to keep a competitive pace.
"It was a very violent accident. The wheels locked and the car instantly spun. It hit the guard rail ahead of me hard, then took off across the track to hit head on the barriers on the other side of the track," he explained.
"The team did an incredible job to get the car back together for Thursday evening, congratulations to all. I drove again yesterday evening but quickly realized that I had pain in my ribs which was stopping me from breathing properly. I said to Henri that it wasn't fair on the team for me to run 10 seconds off the pace because I wasn't fully fit. Because of that, I didn't run yesterday evening and I didn't qualify."
Briton Stuart Hall and France's Emmanuel Collard, who captured pole position in the Pescarolo C60 Hybrid in 2005, will therefore be left without a third team-mate for this year's race.