Yann Clairay at the 24H de Daytona: « At the beginning, I thought it was a hoax »


For ten years now, motorsport has ceased to be Yann Clairay’s main activity. At 37 years old, the Laval resident works in the family business SIT (Service Industriel de Tuyauterie) without giving up the tub but on a part-time basis. Ten years after his last participation in a 24 hour race (Spa on an Aston Martin / Hexis Racing), Yann Clairay will take part in the 24 Hours of Daytona on a Ligier JS P320 aligned by Sean Creech Motorsports with Joao Barbosa, Wayne Boyd and Lance Willsey. A crew to watch …

The 2004 Formula Renault runner-up had the opportunity to do two freelance IMSA Prototype Challenge on a Ligier but it is now a double clock that awaits him, he who has two starts at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

« Opportunities like this, I’m not going to have 50 », said Yann Clairay at Endurance-Info. “At first I thought it was a hoax (he laughs). Then we talked and I saw that it was serious. When I drove in the United States in 2018 at Extreme Speed ​​Motorsports, I had the opportunity to chat with Lance (Willsey) who was riding alone on a Ligier JS P3 and with whom the flow was fine.  »

Without preparation and without having knowledge of the Barber and Canadian Motorsport Park circuits, Yann Clairay had shown himself to his advantage with the highest step of the podium at Barber, not to mention the fastest lap in the race and a podium in Canada.

« I still stay in touch with the world of motorsport », continues the Laval resident. « I chat frequently with Fred Mako and follow the different races. My only circuit experience in 2020 was to help out Pierre Comby in TTE. In 2019, I just competed in two rallies. »

Yann Clairay winner in LMP3 at Barber in 2018

This participation in the 24 Hours of Daytona in LMP3 was not at all premeditated, as confirmed by the former Hexis Racing driver in GT1 and GT3: « I did not try to ride because it is not in my habit to canvass the teams. I know it is a fault. It has been two years since I have ridden but I had done good work during my two freelances. I have one PCR test left to do before leaving and that’s the only thing that can still keep me from going. « 

Second place at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2018

For the moment, this trip to Daytona is a one shot but Yann Clairay is physically sharp as if he was going to play the whole season: « I still have a lot of questions because my last 24 hours go back to 2011 at Spa with Hexis Racing but I trained a lot physically. When I was younger, I was a fan of Days of Thunder with Tom Cruise. I know the film by heart, this film is my whole life (he smiles) If at the age of 10 I had been told I was going to ride in Daytona, I wouldn’t have believed it.  »


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