Jan Lammers - Mr Big Picture
Next on the seniority list among LMP1 entrants is probably Jan Lammers - so we follow Henri Pescarolo's view of the 2007 Le Mans regulations with those of the Dutchman… who is also very busy on other things right now, with the A1 GP in full flow.

"I'm up to my ankles in other things! But really I leave the Dome Company to deal with the regulations.

"Long-term, our goal at Racing for Holland is to link up with a manufacturer - to work as a contractor or sub-contractor. But anyway I think I've found a way to deal with the current position: I've seen the advantages that the manufacturers receive - so although the privateers make up the largest part of the entry list, we have to accept that a lot of money comes from the manufacturers.

"So for us, 2007-08-09 is a build-up to where we want to be. I'd rather be a small player in a big programme than a big player in a small one.

"In life, you should never bet against the law of physics, the bank or the casino - and here, you just have to deal with the regulations: I don't think we can change anything. In every sport there's the game itself and the way it is controlled - the adjudication, if you like. I still play football, and if the whistle goes and the referee gives a decision, I obey that decision.

"Sometimes you're in harmony with the sporting authorities and sometimes you have an argument with them, but if you do, you have to be sure you have enough ammunition to take on the battles and win them.

"I can see why Henri is upset - because there's always a certain amount of unfairness that goes with the sport, but I have to look at my own position first. If you don't like something you should change it, if you can't change it, you have to accept it, and if you can't accept it, you have to change your viewpoint of it.

"Maybe Racing for Holland exists because of me or in spite of me, and perhaps the greatest sportscar race is a little like that. It exists because of a lot of people and in spite of them.

"We still want to win Le Mans at some point, somehow: that's our target.

"My friend Andy Wallace called me once "Mr. Big Picture" and that's what I have to look at all the time. Lots of motor racing events have changed into corporate events that are open to the public. Business to business with companies frantically looking for partners that can add value to each other. When they can, money flows.

When I look at F1 I see 18 corporate events a year, if you like a regular meeting place for large manufacturers and their suppliers - the public is for decoration. A1 GP is different because the races are still a place for the public, as we saw at Zandvoort recently with 140,000 spectators - but they're still events for business, and governments too, with large companies supporting their national teams.

"For us, next year will be rather like this year, working in conjunction with Dome - but moving up a level, so we should be at least as competitive. Working with Dunlop, this year, a podium was a realistic ambition, and that's what we're aiming for in 2007.

"But if we thought we didn't stand a chance, well you can psyche yourself out of it before you start. So we'll focus on our job, working within our budget and technical resources - and if we have luck on our side.... well, you never know.

"Perhaps Henri is too close to everything and everyone, with maybe too much knowledge. I only see things at Le Mans once a year."

 

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