Web­ber craves glory at Le Mans to add to dual Monaco vic­to­ries

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

MARK WEB­BER has no in­ten­tion of coast­ing when he calls time on his 12-year ca­reer in For­mula One at the end of the sea­son and is de­ter­mined to put Porsche back on top of the podium at Le Mans sooner rather than later.

The 37- year- old Aus­tralian re­vealed in June that he had signed a multi-year deal to race for the Ger­man mar­que in the World En­durance Cham­pi­onship, the cen­tre­piece of which is the 24- hour en­durance clas­sic in France.

And while Web­ber said he would miss For­mula One – although not per­haps his Red Bull team­mate Se­bas­tian Vet­tel – his com­pet­i­tive­ness na­ture will not al­low him to slow down.

“I’ve got those mem­o­ries. They’re great and I re­ally en­joy hav­ing those,” he told Aus­tralia’s Chan­nel 10 TV.

“But to look at the next chap­ter, I can’t put my feet out of bed each morn­ing with no su­per pur­pose – I still need to do some­thing. I can’t turn rac­ing off and just fin­ish.”

Web­ber has twice been en­tered to race at Le Mans, but failed to com­plete a lap. His en­gine failed in 1998 and in 1999 his Mercedes flipped into the air twice in prac­tice and the team with­drew for safety rea­sons.

Porsche’s record at the Cir­cuit de la Sarthe is much bet­ter with 16 wins, in­clud­ing seven in a row from 1981 to 1987.

Audi have dom­i­nated since the turn of the cen­tury, though, and Web­ber’s new team will have their work cut out on their re­turn to the top class next year.

“I am look­ing for­ward to this em­bry­onic stage to them re­turn­ing to the race in which they have been so suc­cess­ful in the past,” Web­ber said.

“They’ve got the record for the most wins at Le Mans and I am look­ing for­ward to work­ing with them in the fu­ture and keep­ing my adren­a­line tick­ing over.”

To add a Le Mans suc­cess to his twin tri­umphs in one of mo­tor­sport’s other great races, the Monaco Grand Prix, would be some achieve­ment, he thought.

“I love that cir­cuit, I love driv­ing at night to the limit,” he added. “It’s hu­man na­ture to want more, ob­vi­ously I want to win Le Mans, to put that with Monaco ... that would be nice.

“Whether one is enough there, maybe I want to grab a few. But of course you’ve got to get the first one done, which won’t be easy.

“So that’s the first goal, to win Le Mans, and then we’ll go from there.” – Reuters

JUMP­ING FOR JOY: Mark Web­ber of Aus­tralia cel­e­brates af­ter win­ning the 2011 Brazil­ian F1 Grand Prix.

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