Team ADT Champion Racing's Emanuele Pirro spent last week preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans sportscar endurance race.
But the 41-year-old Italian was not blasting the Audi R8 sportscar along a racetrack at speeds of over 200mph. Instead Pirro, who is aiming to score his fourth consecutive victory in the annual French event on 14-15 June, was fine-tuning his fitness in South Germany.
Pirro joined a number of other Audi drivers at the Red Bull Fitness Camp in Ofterschwang, Bavaria. Every day began with water gymnastics before breakfast, followed by some tough kilometres along the cross-country trail to improve stamina.
In the afternoon the drivers tested their concentration and accuracy with archery, played football, jogged through the Allgau mountains and sweated in the weight room. Conquering Ofterschwang's Alpine Ski World Cup slope going uphill with snowshoes closed the fitness week.
"It's something Audi Sport has organized for many years and it's especially good because it gives all of the drivers the opportunity to compare fitness exercises and for our doctors to give you a thorough check over," remarked Emanuele.
"I work out everyday at home and have a comprehensive gym in my house. I run, row, ski, do kayaking in the summer and cycle. When you get older you realize just how important it is to stay fit -- concerning stamina and strength for top performance when racing but also for safety -- if you're unfortunate enough to have an accident then it's much better to have a fit body to aid recovery time."
Pirro, JJ Lehto and Stefan Johansson will drive the ADT Champion Audi R8 in warm-up trials at Le Mans on 4 May. The trio led most of the 12 Hours of Sebring race in March before ultimately finishing second.
Emanuele added: "I noticed that the press at Sebring made our Champion Audi the favorite to win before the race started. After what happened, I hope we start as an outsider at Le Mans!"