№ 22 United ORECA-Gibson 07, which was shared by Owen and his teammates at the World Endurance Championships Philippe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson, was on the gravel at the first corner after a trilateral collision involving WRT cars Rene Rosta and Ferd.
The starter, who finished second, Owen was placed between General Rast to his right and Habsburg’s quick start to the left as the field approached Dunlop Chicana for the first time when Rast suddenly moved to the left, annoying Owen to Habsburg.
Owen’s car was on gravel and had to be dragged back onto the track, although it returned to the pits with relatively minor damage when recovered, while the Habsburgs had to limp back with a puncture.
Rastu was fined a one-minute fine for stopping aboard a WRT № 31 car, which he along with Sean Gelael and Robin Freens.
“I was almost next to Rust, I started a little further, but I had a decent start and I was close to him,” Owen recalled.
“I saw a blue car [Habsburg] in my mirror, moving to the left, I knew he was running, but I was driving the gap.
“And then suddenly Rast comes and aggressively turns left, which you will never do in a straight line. I mean, that’s how you cause accidents, to be honest.
“I couldn’t react fast enough before I ran into a blue car and ended up in the gravel. It took five or six minutes to untie the car.
“The race is not over yet, but it was a serious failure, so to speak.”
# 22 United Autosports USA Oreca 07 Â– Gibson LMP2 of Philip Hanson, Philip Albuquerque, William Owen Stuck in Gravel at Turn 1
Photo: JEP / Drawings of motorsport
At the six-hour mark the car № 22 United ran 15th in the class with Hanson behind the wheel, two laps away from the leader in the class.
“The car is fast enough, we go well,” Owen added.
“We’re fast enough to do something, if we’re lucky, we can still have a decent result.”
The Realteam by WRT, which is shared by Habsburg, Norman Nata and Rui Andrade, was ahead of the car № 22 by a quarter of a distance.
Habsburg recalled the incident: “I started a little slow for United and they retreated just before the match. [start/finish] a line that meant I could catch up again.
“I was able to drive up to the left [with] United, and my sister’s car, driven by Rene Rast, didn’t know there was a car to his left.
He turned left and crashed into United, which I almost failed to do, but United just pushed me behind when United left.
“I got a puncture and damaged my back. Really, a very horrible start, but we’re fast, so we’ll keep trying.”