Mallya enjoys “overwhelming” first Le Mans experience


Force India F1 Team owner Vijay Mallya has enjoyed what he called an “overwhelming” first experience at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend.

Mallya made the journey to the Circuit de la Sarthe in France to cheer on Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg, who has been racing for Porsche in its no. 19 car at the world’s most famous endurance race.

Hulkenberg became the first active F1 driver to win Le Mans since 1991 with a fine display by the entire no. 19 crew, as the German shared top honors with Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber.

Taking to Twitter, Mallya expressed his excitement at Le Mans, joining many members of the F1 paddock who have enjoyed the endurance race this weekend.

It is unusual for drivers to pull double duties in F1 and another series, with most teams containing clauses in contracts that prevent them from doing so for fear of suffering an injury or not being fully fit for a grand prix.

However, Mallya has broken the mould in 2015 and given Hulkenberg permission to race for Porsche at two FIA World Endurance Championship events.

Speaking at the Spanish Grand Prix last month, Hulkenberg said that he believed a number of other drivers would like to do the same, but are not allowed.

“I think it’s not because drivers don’t want it,” the German said. “It’s more because of other things: that they’re not allowed or they can’t do it basically.”