“Then, when the team repaired our car after the accident, they replaced the bodywork and sidepods. They fired up the engine, and found there was some water dripping out of the right sidepod. So they took the driver’s door and sidepod off again, but discovered that it wasn’t a leak at all! Actually, water had been poured into the sidepod when they sealed up the radiator, and there was no leak. All that took another five or 10 minutes, and it shouldn’t have…
“Still, at the end of the race we were only one lap behind our winning sister car. Because I’d fallen off my bike! had not been able to drive fast enough, and because of that, we had been three-quarters of a lap behind. Then Müller had his shunt, which he shouldn’t have, and then we had repaired a water leak that did not exist. So we lost the race three times!
“Thousands of people would like Bob Wollek to win Le Mans. There are so many people calling and telling me about it, and they grab me and say, ‘This year, this year!’ It just builds up, and then it doesn’t happen, and for me the world sort of breaks. It’s happened to me 22 times that I had a chance but failed to win Le Mans. Especially in 1973-74 with Matra, then ’78 in the factory Porsche, and, and, and… You always say, ‘Bad luck. Next year!’ The difference was that in 1998, I was already 54, so next year? It was gone.
Wollek raced twice more at Le Mans after 1998, both times in GT class Porsche 911s. He was preparing for what would have been his 31st and final Le Mans start when he was killed while cycling back to his hotel at the 2001 Sebring 12 Hours.