Catalunya: Christian Bakkerud preview

Team Kolles racing driver, Dane Christian Bakkerud, is looking forward to his sportscar debut in the 1000 KM of Catalunya race, driving the 650 hp Audi R10 TDi on the Spanish Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona. Bakkerud will drive the car ...

Team Kolles racing driver, Dane Christian Bakkerud, is looking forward to his sportscar debut in the 1000 KM of Catalunya race, driving the 650 hp Audi R10 TDi on the Spanish Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.

Bakkerud will drive the car together with Christijan Albers, as the third driver Narain Karthikeyan has been forced to stand out the race, due to an injury. The race is estimated to last between five or six hours, depending on weather conditions.

The team has been working flat out, to secure a well prepared first race in the endurance series.

It's the second time for the Le Mans Series to guest the Spanish track, but it's a first for the Team Kolles, who is debuting in the LMP1 category. Audi has entrusted Team Kolles with their 2008 Le Mans winner, confronting the force of the Pescarolo and Lola Aston Martin racers.

Obviously everyone in the team is looking forward to this new challenge, especially the 24 year old Dane, as he is highly motivated after a long break from the racetrack. Christian has also been busy in the build up phase of the new Team Kolles sportscar team, completing the testing of the R10 at Lausitzring. The new diesel racer is known to put great strains on the driver but Christian has not been feeling any of that.

You are debuting in the Team Kolles Audi R10 sportscar, how does it feel?

"It's great to be back in the car again after a year out of racing! Also the Audi R10 is a fantastic car to be in. Team Kolles and Audi have done a great job of getting everything ready for this first race."

Which strategy have you laid out for the first Le Mans Series race at Circuit de Catalunya?

"For this first race it's important for us to finish the race. Us drivers need as much experience as possible and so do a few of the guys in the team. We should have been 3 drivers put unfortunately Narain wont be joining us here do to an injury. So it gives Albers and myself more time in the car. Obviously I feel sorry for Narain but am happy to be getting in a few more laps."

What can you tell us about the build up to the race?

"I have been training hard leading up to this race. Its a much longer race than what I'm used to so I need to adjust my training a little bit to but suit endurance racing. It just meant some longer runs and more time in the gym. On the others side I have also been studying the R10 manual. Its a very complex car to drive and there is a lot the driver has to do while driving in terms of changing fuel mixtures engine mapping etc. But this has been a pleasure as it's very interesting."

The Circuit de Catalunya is a challenging track, how would you describe it?

"Barcelona is a very abrasive circuit so it wears the tyres very quickly. In this type of long distance racing this is not ideal as we want to be able to do as many laps as possible on one set of tyres. The regulations state that only one man may change the tyres so it's a longer procedure than it used to. The track itself is fantastic; it has a god combination of slow and fast corners and a long pit straight where you can just relax the shoulders quickly."

Which sponsors made this happen for you?

"I have to thank my sponsors XLNtelecom Nordea Bank and of course Audi. I have a fantastic chance this season to work with some very professional people and get some good results."

-credit: christian bakkerud

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Narain Karthikeyan , Christijan Albers , Christian Bakkerud