You grew up in Belgium and have lived in Tokyo for many years now. Which is your home race, Spa or the forthcoming sixth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC at Fuji on October 20? Im in the enviable position that the WEC calendar has two home races for me.
And after all, Fuji is the only WEC race of the year to which I can travel by car.
As ambassador for Audi Japan, Im lucky enough to be able to drive an Audi R8 Spyder. It takes me about an hour to get to the circuit by car.
From your point of view, what makes the Fuji circuit so special? The track has many peculiarities. On one hand its location at the foot of Mount Fuji. The region is well known for the rapidly changing weather. Perhaps not as crazy as at the Nürburgring, but it can also suddenly start to rain very heavily here. The circuit is technically challenging for the cars. On the long straight top speed is required, but in the last tight section we need a lot of downforce. This makes the set-up difficult.
What is your goal for the race in Japan? The goal is always the same, namely to win the race. Last year my team-mates Marcel Fässler, Benoît Tréluyer and I were second at Fuji. We just missed a possible victory due to a drive through penalty. This time we want to stand on the top step of the podium and also ensure that Audi can wrap up the WEC manufacturers title already in Japan.
In addition to the remaining WEC races, you plan a special events this year... Thats right. With the support of Audi Tradition, I will contest the 1000 Millas Sport with my Audi Sport quattro between November 14 and 16. Its effectively the Argentinean version of the famous Italian Mille Miglia. This endurance tour for historic race and sports cars through the fabulous Argentinean countryside will certainly be a fantastic experience.