Spa 24H: United Autosports - Alain Li preview

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Alain Li (F). Age: 50. Born: Caen, France. Lives: Hong Kong Spa 24Hr: Debut. Spa History: Debut 2004, Ferrari Challenge Series (2004-8). Last race at Spa: 2008. Other 24Hr races: None. Shares ...

Alain Li (F). Age: 50. Born: Caen, France. Lives: Hong Kong

Spa 24Hr: Debut. Spa History: Debut 2004, Ferrari Challenge Series (2004-8). Last race at Spa: 2008. Other 24Hr races: None.

Shares #67 Cerutti / FXDD / Robert Dubuis Watches / Road & Track / Legends of Motorsports / LG Electronics Audi R8 LMS with Emil Assentato (USA), Stefan Johansson (Sw) and Mark Patterson (USA):

"This is my first 24 hour race so I've been getting advice, I know a lot of people that have done 24 hour races. I've been concentrating on my physical condition, working more on cardio and endurance training, while watching my diet closely. I'm in reasonable physical shape.

"I plan arrive early during the race week because I'll be coming in from Hong Kong where I live. I'll need to get over the jet lag -- although maybe that won't be a bad thing if I have to do some night stints as I'll be wide awake! So I've had a lot to think about and a lot to prepare for which has been very exciting.

"I'm a Frenchman and was based in Europe for over 20 years. I started my racing in Europe having watched motorsport for a number of years before that and so Spa always featured as one of those mythical tracks that everyone talks about. The first time I heard of Spa was probably when I was a toddler.

"I have been there [Spa] a few times, actually raced in the Ferrari Challenge there at least once a year between 2004-8, so I would like to think I know my way around the place. My last race was last year at the Singapore Grand Prix in the Porsche 'support' race. I try and get out on a track at least every three or four months, just to try and keep the reflexes up to speed.

"To be sharing the Audi R8 LMS with Stefan [Johansson] is just unbelievable and I really hope I can learn from him. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, not just to do the race, but also to be in the car with a driver of Stefan's caliber. Nowadays with data logging that can be compared between all of us drivers it is a real golden opportunity to try and also raise my game and learn from him.

"I have got this opportunity thanks to racing with Richard [Dean] last year so I guess I did well enough for him to think that I deserved a drive with United Autosports and in such a prestigious race. The race will be a case of keeping out of trouble which I learnt from other long distance races. I've done a couple of 12 hour races, one with Richard. It's about being consistent.

"But on a track like Spa you won't get bored -- I'll need to stay 100% focused otherwise it [the Spa track] will bite me back. Another problem, or maybe opportunity, could be the weather. Whatever the conditions, it is always a great track to drive on and with such a good team, fantastic car and such a great bunch of guys, I'm sure it will be a lot of fun as well as a massive challenge for me."

-source: unitedautosports.com

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Series ENDURANCE