After his world title in 2017, James Calado secured another in the World Endurance Championship thanks to his three wins in the 8 Hours of Portimão, the 8 Hours of Bahrain and, most importantly, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In a season where the British driver focused solely on the FIA WEC, he recorded some outstanding performances in which he made a decisive contribution to winning the world titles.
You are the World Champion again after 2017. Which of the two titles thrilled you the most?
“Honestly, it’s hard to answer because the 2017 one was the first world title. It came at the end of the Bahrain race. When I crossed the finish line it was very emotional, an incredible feeling. 2021 wasn’t an easy year. It was also tough because there were fewer competitors. I had a different feeling because we didn’t get the verdict on the spot but only a few days later. The two titles are of equal value. I don’t think it’s possible to pick a favourite. Every race we win, whether it’s Le Mans or the World Championship title, brings the same emotions.”
Le Mans was the most crucial win of the season. A few months down the line, what is the significance of that result?
“Le Mans is one of the greatest races in the world. To win it twice is an incredible feeling. It’s a challenging race in many ways: to get to the line first isn’t just about speed; you have to have a strategy, and then you have to consider the unexpected situations that can complicate the rest of the race. The 24 Hours Le Mans is one of the most prestigious races, and to win it is always an incredible sporting achievement.”