Spa 24H: United Autosports - Stefan Johansson preview

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Stefan Johansson (Sw). Age: 53. Born: Vaxjo, Sweden. Lives: Los Angeles, California, USA Spa 24Hr: Debut. Spa History: Debut August 9 1981 (F2/14th). F1 (1983, 85-91 -- 1986/3rd, 1987/2nd), F2 (1981-2 -- pole-position 1982/F2), GpC...

Stefan Johansson (Sw). Age: 53. Born: Vaxjo, Sweden. Lives: Los Angeles, California, USA

Spa 24Hr: Debut. Spa History: Debut August 9 1981 (F2/14th). F1 (1983, 85-91 -- 1986/3rd, 1987/2nd), F2 (1981-2 -- pole-position 1982/F2), GpC (1982-4), 1,000km sports cars (1988/1st). Last race at Spa: August 19 2007 (LMS/Ret). Other 24Hr races: Le Mans (1983/6th, 1984, 1990, 1991/6th, 1992/5th, 1997/1st, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003/3rd, 2006, 2007, 2008). Daytona (2000 23rd, 2002 36th/13th, 2005/4th, 2006/22nd).

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

"I have mostly good memories of Spa. I must say, it is a fabulous race track so it has always been a pleasure to go there and get to drive. All the races didn't go well, of course, but most of them went okay. I won a six hour race there in a Mercedes GpC sportscar in 1988 while finishing third there in the 1986 Grand Prix, second in 1987, with my McLaren team-mate Alain Prost in front of me, so it has all been mostly good.

"This will be my 19th 24 hour race and I just love the endurance aspect whether you win or not. Of course everybody wants to win, the goal has to be to win but when you just finish it is just such a great sense of achievement and it is just fantastic to be out there. It's solitude, you are in the car on your own, you are just out there alone with the elements in the car. It is very pure. We all start racing because we love it so this is about as pure as it gets. You drive a car as fast as you can, especially driving for 24 hours around there, is just amazing.

"For me, it's a case of being re-united with Audi. Working with them [Audi] has been my best experience with any manufacturer that I have worked with in racing. They are just great people, they do everything the right way while there is very much a family ambience within the whole infrastructure. They are extremely clever people and the cars in particular are a pleasure to drive because they are just about perfect in every sense. There is very little detail left to be changed because they [Audi] have pretty much thought of everything.

"I first ran with Audi at Le Mans in 1999 for the Audi Sport UK team in the Audi R8C. Then I ran my own car, an Audi R8, a great car, it was a great experience and we had fantastic support from the factory. I won the 2001 European Le Mans Series title in that car and also finished on the podium at Le Mans in an R8 sports-prototype run by Champion so my experience with Audi has been excellent."

-source: unitedautosports.com

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Series ENDURANCE