Benoit Treluyer Spa preview

Spa-Francorchamps circuit

Dress rehearsal before Le Mans

The 1000km of Spa-Francorchamps, which this season unites both the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) and Le Mans Series (LMS) grids, will serve as a competitive test for Benoît Tréluyer and Audi’s R18 TDI ahead of next month’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

Belgium’s classic sportscar race will be the only ILMC event other than Le Mans for the Frenchman, who last weekend won 2011’s opening Super GT championship race at Fuji, Japan.

#2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDI: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer
#2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDI: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer

Photo by: Claude Parpex

“Above all, the race is a dress rehearsal ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours where we intend to shake the car down and continue preparations within the team. The most important area will be slipping back into well honed habits and reacquainting ourselves with the engineers and mechanics. Communication, pit stops and on-track traffic management; these 1000km are going to be the first and only opportunity to conduct a competitive test before Le Mans.”

Of course, should the opportunity arise, Benoît and his team-mates Marcel Fässler and André Lotterer will challenge for victory even if this is not the overall objective set out by Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

“Spa’s combination of fast and tight curves offers a good layout on which to fine tune our set-ups and preparation. While the La Source hairpin and final chicane are quite tight, the rest are perfect.”

The Ardennes event will also play host to the first confrontation under race conditions between the trio of new Audi R18 TDIs, which made a strong impression at the Le Mans 24 Hours Test Day on April 24, and Peugeot’s 908. But Benoît is keen to stress that the rivalry’s resumption will not interfere with the team’s principle objectives.

“We have a plan to follow and won’t be looking at what others are doing. Obviously, like all fellow drivers, I will be checking the lap times when I climb out of the car to see where we are. But I know the team will not get distracted!”

It’s an Audi team that Benoit has come to increasingly admire the more time he spends in its company.

“The team never drops its level of performance and is not prepared to rest on its laurels. One gets the impression that it fights for its reputation every time it joins the track! In addition, this year’s Audi R18 TDI programme carries with it a lot of ambition. Last season the team won the Le Mans 24 Hours but not the ILMC as, intrinsically, the competition was faster. With the R18 TDI, Audi wants to win in style.”

-source: Benoît Tréluyer

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Andre Lotterer , Benoit Tréluyer
Teams Team Joest
Tags audi, begium, treluyer