Andy Priaulx took blame for having contributed to Tom Kristensen's off in the third hour of Le Mans which put the No. 7 Audi three laps off the lead and dropped it from fourth to eighth, but added that he had been trying to do the right thing and that it was a case of unfortunate circumstances.
The BMW driver explained that his intention had been to move out of the way of the eight-time winner as the pair approached the Porsche Curves to give Kristensen the inside line, but the Audi was already committed to the outside.
"I had a puncture on my front left and I was doing about 60 km/h," explained Priaulx. "I basically looked in my mirror and saw him a long way back, and at that moment in time I had the choice to go inside or outside and I went to the outside because I saw Rob Bell up ahead also with a puncture, who was on the left. I thought I'd go left to give Tom the inside line, so I did and he had already committed to the outside line.
"You have to remember it was hard to judge the distance. It wasn't like a last-minute thing that I decided to go left, but he had committed. People have told me I am not, but my gut feeling is that I am responsible, but sometimes I am very hard on myself."
Priaulx, a three-time world touring car champion making his debut at Le Mans, added that regardless of who was to blame, he was sad to have been involved in an incident that involved the crew of the No. 7 R15 TDI Plus.
"Tom is a hero of mine and I am disappointed that I helped to put him out and also Allan McNish," he said. "They are two really close friends that I have got so much respect for. I'm more disappointed about than I am about retiring in some ways. At the end of the day we had a bad stint."
The BMW M3 "Art Car" which Priaulx shared with Dirk Werner and Dirk Muller, ultimately retired from the race in the sixth hour with a fuel feed problem.