An interview with Charly Lamm: "Spa is very special for the entire world of motorsport." Spa-Francorchamps, 29th July 2010. Charly Lamm (DE) and his team have already won the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps (BE) five times. He now returns ...
An interview with Charly Lamm: "Spa is very special for the entire world of motorsport."
Spa-Francorchamps, 29th July 2010. Charly Lamm (DE) and his team have already won the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps (BE) five times. He now returns to the Ardennes with Team BMW Motorsport for the first time since 2004 to add another chapter to Schnitzer Motorsport's success story at this endurance classic.
In an interview, Lamm talks about the preparations for the race, the first win for Schnitzer 25 years ago, and the features of the track.
Mr. Lamm, how has Team BMW Motorsport prepared for the marathon in Spa since the Le Mans 24 Hours?
Charly Lamm: "After the race in Le Mans we immediately switched our focus to the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours. This is our third outing at an endurance classic this year. The first step is to deal with the extraordinary conditions at this race. For example, in Spa the FIA stipulates the use of very specific tyre compounds, for which we must complete very intense preparations together with our partner Dunlop. Fortunately the scheduling allowed us to test with both BMW M3 GT2 cars. The official FIA test in Spa-Francorchamps was, of course, particularly helpful. It is always good to be able to gather information on site before a race."
The team has already raced in Spa as part of the Le Mans Series. Can you use the knowledge gained there to prepare for the 24-hour race?
Lamm: "You certainly cannot use the data in every area, but it definitely helps to have already driven on the circuit. We have a long history at Spa-Francorchamps. Despite this, we have to readapt to the special demands of this fantastic circuit every time we come here."
What do you personally associate with the Spa 24 Hours?
Lamm: "Firstly, I think the circuit in Spa-Francorchamps is very special for the entire world of motorsport. The character of the track is unique. Schnitzer Motorsport contested its very first 24-hour race in Spa -- 25 years ago. We won at the first attempt with the BMW 635 CSi. It has always been a magnificent event with a great atmosphere. After tasting success there many times in the past, it goes without saying we always enjoy coming back."
Which was your greatest success to date in Spa-Francorchamps?
Lamm: "That is very difficult to say. Victory at a 24-hour race is always very special, especially when you consider the efforts of the entire team and drivers, and what is asked of the car. Of course, our first triumph was particularly nice, as it was also a one-two."
What is the key to success at the "Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps"?
Lamm: "Spa-Francorchamps is a fast, flowing circuit with many undulations. This makes it physically very tiring for the drivers. At no point can they relax. They must remain fully concentrated at all times. Of course, you also need to keep an eye on the weather conditions. We have raced in extreme heat in Spa, but have also had to contend with some heavy storms and deluges in the past. Bearing in mind the limited tyre options, you have to be very accurate in anticipating how the weather will develop in order to make the right decisions. If it is a hot race, it obviously makes it twice as strenuous for the drivers and the equipment."
Who are your closest rivals?
Lamm: "The competition is completely different here to what it was in Le Mans or the Nurburgring. In Spa, the field is made up of various cars from the GTN, GT2, GT3 and GT4 classes. We know some of guys from the GT3 class from the Nurburgring, and are familiar with some of the GT2 cars from the Le Mans Series. However, we will only really be able to tell where we stand in terms of being competitive over the course of the weekend. There are a lot of candidates who have the potential to challenge for the win. I hope that we are one of them."