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When two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Benoît Tréluyer returns to competitive action at Silverstone this weekend it will be with renewed motivation to secure fresh success for his Audi Sport team.
Alongside crewmates Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fässler, Tréluyer helped Audi break new ground as the first manufacturer to clinch the legendary endurance race using hybrid technology and four-wheel drive. Their #1 R18 e-tron quattro triumphed in June’s 80th running of the event to lead a one-two-three finish for the German marque.
Since that historic victory Tréluyer has combined further development work on the hybrid machine with some much-needed down time. Suitably recharged, he is now hungry to get back on track this weekend.
“We did some preparation for the upcoming race by testing new components and looking to develop a few things on the car,” explained the Frenchman. “It was interesting work and I hope that we’ve made the improvements we were targeting.
“I then spent some time relaxing in Provence with friends and family. I had my niece and nephew around for a month which is something I’ve not been able to do for 12 years, so that was very nice. I’ve also done some training to stay sharp so overall it’s been a positive break. Sometimes it’s good to take a little time away from racing as when you do get back behind the wheel again you have renewed motivation to perform.”
A rejuvenated Tréluyer will carry this fresh impetus into the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at British venue Silverstone this weekend (24-26 August) for what will be his maiden visit to the legendary circuit. Fortunately, he’s had some help getting to grips with the layout ahead of hitting the track on Friday.
“Though I’ve never driven at Silverstone I have been practicing on the home simulator that I got from my partners Ellip6,” revealed Tréluyer. “I’m putting in the laps on the new circuit and I’m starting to get to know it pretty well. So far I’ve been focussing on dry conditions but maybe, looking at how the British summer has turned out, I should get some running in the rain done too!”
However the weather behaves, Tréluyer’s goal at Silverstone will be to strengthen Audi’s bid to become Manufacturers’ Word Champions. And, after some thrilling on-track contests at La Sarthe, he is also looking forward to going wheel-to-wheel with his competitors again at the Northamptonshire venue.
“All three drivers in the #1 car, as well as our race engineer Leena and each of our mechanics, are really motivated by the goal of being world champions and we will do our utmost to help put the Audi R18 e-tron quattro on top of the podium at the end of the year,” he enthused. “Its very important for us to do this as a thank you to the entire team for their hard work.
“What’s more, it will be great fun to compete with our sister Audi and the Toyota at Silverstone,” continued Tréluyer. “We know that over six hours the Toyota will be a serious threat, so it will be an interesting end to the season.”
Following the British encounter the championship embarks on a busy schedule of overseas events, visiting Brazil, Bahrain, Japan and China in a seven-week stretch. Having cut his teeth as a professional racing driver in Japan, claiming titles in both Formula Nippon and Super GT, it’s little surprise that the trip to Fuji Speedway is eagerly anticipated by Tréluyer.
“I want to give my absolute maximum at all the upcoming races, but naturally I’m particularly looking forward to Fuji. It’ll be great to go back to Japan and see all my friends and fans again, and it will be fantastic for Andre and I to share a car there for the first time.”
For now however his attention remains firmly fixed on Silverstone and securing a valuable haul of world championship points. With the confidence that a second Le Mans crown brings and the continuing efforts of the Audi team, Tréluyer can head to the British venue targeting a strong showing
To keep up to date with Benoît on and off the circuit please visit www.benoittreluyer.com, follow him on Twitter @BenoitTreluyer and like his Facebook page.
Friday 24 August
11.30 – 13.00: Free Practice 1
16.00 – 17.30: Free Practice 2
Saturday 25 August
11.00 – 12.00: Free Practice 3
15.20 – 15.40: Qualifying Session
Sunday 26 August
08.55 – 9.15: Warm-up
12.00 – 18.00: Race