Juan Pablo Montoya on Le Mans: “I really want to try and win!”
For the latest episode of WEC Talk, we spoke to one of the world’s most decorated drivers - Juan Pablo Montoya - who is currently competing with DragonSpeed USA in the FIA WEC’s highly-competitive LMP2 category.
Born in Bogota, Colombia, Montoya competed in Formula 1 from 2001 to 2006 before moving onto NASCAR and IndyCar, spending a significant amount of his career in America. Montoya is one of only two active drivers (alongside Fernando Alonso) who has won two legs of the Triple Crown of Motorsport having triumphed at both the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indy500.
When asked about his career by WEC Talk host Martin Haven, Montoya explained: “I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to race on both sides of the pond… It’s been fun. I’ve been based in the States for quite a long time now but I really enjoy racing back in Europe. This year is really special for me, going back to places like Monza and Le Mans – I’ve fallen in love with Le Mans, racing there is so much fun.”
He added: “Sportscar racing… dealing with the traffic is a challenge. Having Henrik [Hedman] as our bronze driver in the car is a great twist and it’s really fun. It’s a different way of approaching races. DragonSpeed have been a great team so far – it’s been a blast!”
Montoya has spent a lot of time working with American racing legend Chip Ganassi over the years, with the American icon first introducing him to endurance racing. The 45-year-old Colombian even won his debut outing at the 24 Hours of Daytona, all under the guidance of Ganassi. He took up the story: “Chip and I have had a lot of fun over the years… he introduced me to endurance racing - it wasn’t actually something that was on my mind. An email came late December to say I’ll see you in a week and I’m not making that up… I’d show up to the race and I wouldn’t even know what car I was driving!”
Turning his attention to 2021 and the Triple Crown, Montoya concluded: “I absolutely want to win Le Mans – there is a lot of luck involved but as a race and an experience, it’s just so much fun. In a couple of years, when more manufacturers are involved then I hope they will take a look at me and that they will want me to be a part of their team. The next few years are very exciting for endurance racing.”
“This year, I want to defend my IMSA title and for the WEC – we are going to try give it our best. I want to help Elton, help DragonSpeed to build that team up and see what the year brings.”
Don’t forget to listen HERE. On the same link, you can also find last month’s chat with Jean Todt and Richard Mille as well as several other in-depth interviews with various drivers and key names from the world of endurance racing.
About WEC Talk
Available on various platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Deezer, the WEC’s official podcast promises fans a unique insight into the exhilarating world of sportscars.
With exclusive interviews from drivers, team members, management and legendary figures involved in endurance racing, fans across the world can get their regular sportscars fix by tuning into WEC Talk.