Kraihamer Celebrates Victory at Le Mans
“BEING UP THERE IN FRONT OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FANS FELT JUST INCREDIBLE”
Dominik Kraihamer now has a place in the history of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Together with teammates Daniel Abt and Alex Imperatori, Austrian won the LMP1 privateer category on the race debut of the AER powered REBELLION Racing R-One.
The 'Eat the Ball' sponsored driver was interviewed for the 'Eat the Ball' website.
Hi Dominik. How are you – did you get some rest?
Dominik: Thanks, I’m good. I needed a couple of days to fully recover from the stress of the past weeks, but I feel like I regained my strength.
After some quite challenging 24 hours on Sunday, you were on top of the Le Mans podium for the very first time in your career. What did it feel like to hold this trophy in front of hundreds of thousands of fans?
Dominik: Being up there in front of hundreds of thousands of fans felt incredible. I am aware that the race wasn’t without complications and that we can improve a lot in some areas. But after making it through a race like this and even winning in the end, the feeling is incredibly amazing.
Did you already realize what this win means to you and your career?
Dominik: To be honest, I don’t really think about it that way. It was definitely a good race for me because my personal performance was the best since a long time ago and I feel comfortable with this team. I just continue to concetrate on myself and see what happens.
The race was quite a rollercoaster ride. After your team mate Alex Imperatori’s accident, most people didn’t expect the REBELLION R-One #13 back on the tracks and now you’re the winner of the LM P1 category. How did you experience that?
Dominik: It was a thrill from beginning to end. When Alex had his accident in the beginning, we all thought this is it, but the bolide could be repaired quickly. After that we were all just concentrated on avoiding mistakes, which is quite difficult during a 24-hour race. I personally didn’t expect us to get very far, but thank God, I was wrong!
Now tell me: how many hours of actuall sleep did you get during the entire race?
Dominik: Two hours precisesly. The problem isn’t the little amount of sleep during the race but the lost energy in the days and weeks leading up to it. There are so many media requests, and you have to be cautious not to say yes to everything but to rather rest somewhere in a corner.
You could probably THANK hundreds of people for their support on your way to winning in Le Mans, including Rebellion Racing’s physiotherapist. How close do you come to reaching your mental and physical limits during the race?
Dominik: The body is affected by extreme forces over a long period of time. We’re talking about 4g and a high speed of 340 km/h. All that is extremely tiring – physically and mentally. After two to three hours in the racing car you need a good therapist. So, many thanks to my physiotherapists Martin and Helmut. It would not have been possible to endure the 24 hour race without them!
The next race will be end of August at Nürburgring – what are your plans till then?
Dominik: I’m back in Vienna studying for my upcoming exams. After that, I’ll be on vacation in the South of France with my family and my girlfriend.
I’d like to thank everyone who’s supported me in many ways. Thanks to my girlfriend, my family, friends, the Eat the Ball team and of course Rebellion Racing for the great work!
Dominik, thanks for this interesting interview. Good luck for your exams and enjoy your well-deserved vacation!