Season » 2014 » 24h Le Mans (F)

Audi motorsport-140606-3496

“Le Mans 2014 will be one of the races in which we can’t afford to make any mistakes."

Quotes before the season highlight.

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “With three manufacturers now competing in the LMP1H category, the level of the event has clearly risen once more. This does not degrade any of the past races, as special challenges arise every year, not always just because of the competition but also because of the race itself. There have been years at Le Mans in which we were successful even though our car wasn’t the fastest one. We can recognize the true picture only in the race. We aim to be perfect and to battle for victory with speed and reliability.”

Chris Reinke (Head of LMP): “The preparation time was very long, considering that the new regulations were created over the period of several years and that the concept design and development stage was followed by a long testing phase and the first two races of the season. That was a very complex task. I’m convinced that we developed a good race car. Now we’re looking forward to the direct comparison of all manufacturers in the race.”

Ralf Jüttner (Team Director Audi Sport Team Joest): “Le Mans 2014 will be one of the races in which we can’t afford to make any mistakes. The regulations do not want to see a race car that’s superior to the competitors, for instance in terms of lap times. But that’s not the only thing. Our aim is to give the drivers a car that allows them to drive three- or four-hour stints as closely as possible to the limit without getting tired. This aspect will decide the race. So, as a team, we need to work out a good set-up. We’ve been in comparable situations before and managed to do a zero-defect job then as well. We want to try and do that again this time.”

Lucas di Grassi (29/BR), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Achieved a podium finish on his Le Mans debut a year ago
-Contests the full FIA World Endurance Championship for the first time this year
“A year ago I experienced my debut at Le Mans. The track and the whole facility are incredible. And it’s huge fun to drive the R18 e-tron quattro for this team. In 2013, I immediately finished on podium and was voted rookie of the year. Now I’m running with two very experienced team-mates who, as world champions, deserve driving car number 1. I want to learn as much as possible from them. I’m hoping for a good result.”

Loïc Duval (31/F), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Is returning to Le Mans as last year’s winner
-Will be 32 years old during the Le Mans week
“Between our victory a year ago and the test day I didn’t drive on this track. I really like this circuit and am looking forward to driving the R18 e-tron quattro on it. Hopefully, I can again achieve a good result with Tom and Lucas because it’s the most important race of the year. And it’s fun to drive in front of such a large audience.”

Tom Kristensen (46/DK), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Celebrated his ninth Le Mans victory last year
-In May, finished a 24-hour mountain bike race in third place
“For the fans, for us drivers and for all the others, there’s only one truth: the next race is the one that counts, not the previous ones. And the next race is always the hardest one. It’s great to also be competing against a brand like Porsche this year – in keeping with our claim: ‘welcome challenges.’ We’re going to give our best at Le Mans. The test day already showed that we can make maximum demands on our car. Now, if we want to have a chance, we need to prove that for 24 hours.”

Marcel Fässler (38/CH), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-In 2011, was the first Swiss to have won the Le Mans 24 Hours
-Has been driving with André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer as team-mates since 2010
“Le Mans will be a hard nut to crack this year. The previous races were demanding too, but this year will even be more extreme. That’s the real challenge for us drivers: the on-track competition in direct battle is the intriguing part. And that’s what I’m extremely looking forward to.”

André Lotterer (32/D), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-In 2012, was WEC Champion with Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer
-Three years ago, won the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time with Audi
“This will be a very thrilling Le Mans this time. Toyota is our challenger for the third year now and Porsche is an additional one. Three manufacturers are competing with new cars and three totally different concepts under new regulatory conditions. Each brand has different strengths but maybe the performance level will be pretty similar. We’ve can’t afford to make any mistakes and we’ll be driving at the limit. That’s what we’re looking forward to. And I hope, so are the spectators.”

Benoît Tréluyer (37/F), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Has won the Le Mans 24 Hours twice before with Audi
-Grew up in Alençon, 50 kilometers north of Le Mans
“The Le Mans 24 Hours is always a challenging race that’s only over when the checkered flag falls. This year, completely new regulations apply. We know the potential of our car and the complex technology. We’re in a stronger position now than we last were at Silverstone or at Spa and understand the car better. Our R18 e-tron quattro with the aerodynamics for Le Mans should be pretty good.”

Filipe Albuquerque (28/P), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Is the only Audi driver this year to experience his Le Mans debut
-Will celebrate his 29th birthday one day before the race starts
“We’re facing one of the world’s biggest races. My debut in this race is a special thing and for me it’s a privilege to be able to compete for Audi. The brand is committed to battling for victory. My team-mates have helped me a lot in preparing for the race and I’m looking forward to our joint run.”

Marco Bonanomi (29/I), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Two years ago, in third place, immediately won a trophy at Le Mans
-Drove the new R18 e-tron quattro at Spa in May
“The feeling of competing at Le Mans is always something special for a race driver. I waited for this for a long time and am ready. We’ve gathered a lot of data that will help us. Our team has thoroughly prepared the car. Obviously, we’re meeting with tough rivals, so it’ll be a nice challenge. And I’m looking forward to working with Filipe Albuquerque and Oliver Jarvis.”

Oliver Jarvis (30/GB), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-In 2012 and 2013, was on podium with Audi at Le Mans
-Is contesting his first WEC race in the 2014 season in France
“No matter who the competitors are, and against which cars we’re driving, this race is always particularly tough and fascinating. Toyota is challenging us with an even more powerful car than in the past and, at the same time, Porsche is returning. That’ll be a big spectacle and a fascinating week. The atmosphere at Le Mans is unique and the circuit is one of the most beautiful ones in the world. I’ve been on podium twice here but you can’t only hope. You’ve got to prepare one hundred percent.”

Audi motorsport-140606-3496