Emmanuel Collard: “I had so much fun in Endurance! »

He “only” participated in Road to Le Mans this year, aboard a Ferrari 296 GT3, but has not yet finished with the 24 Hours. At 53, the man who holds one of the finest records in world motorsport is embarking on a new adventure with JMB Racing. Ride in Pescarolo to discover a past that combines with the present.

Published on 23/06/2024 à 09:00

Jean-Michel Desnoues

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Emmanuel Collard: “I had so much fun in Endurance! »

© Bernard Asset

Wow, what did you bring out for us?

This was used by the Hélary trio, Loeb and Montagny, but it is the same Pescarolo-Judd C60 with which I competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2005! We could have taken my Skoda, but I found it to be more original. And then, Pescarolos in general have been important cars in my career. A private team, a small team of ten people, many races won, I only have good memories. Only one small regret, this 2005 edition where we should have won. We finished 2nd due to a gearbox problem.

How did you get into motorsport?

When I was six, I had a little motorcycle, and when I was ten, I told my dad I wanted a car. He told me that, unfortunately, I was going to have to wait a lot more years. He had a bar in Paris and, some time later, a customer informed him that one of his fellow bistro owners was president of a kart club in Meudon. My father went to see this gentleman who explained to him that I was the right age, eleven years old now, to start. He bought a kart and we started hitting all the local clubs. We didn't stop. It worked well straight away and I was French champion the first year.

First in a long series of titles with, finally, that of world champion…

Yes, in Super 100 (Formula A in 1988. Editor’s note), in Laval! It was the race we had to win, but I wasn't thinking about the car. I wasn't like kids today who immediately think about F1. In fact, everything came from François Guiter (Elf competition manager. Editor's note) who, following my title, called my father, because I was the first French kart world champion. He wanted to take me to F. Renault and follow me! He sent me two days

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