Season » 2012 » 12h Sebring (USA)

Sebring 2009

Quotes before 12h Sebring

What drives and officials from the Audi Sport Team Joest say before Sebring.

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “Sebring is just around the corner; we’ve completed our preparations. It’ll be a grand and no doubt thrilling inaugural event of the new WEC. The entire fields of the WEC and the American Le Mans Series will be competing together. So, the field of entrants will be made up of more than 60 cars. For the fans and for motorsport, this is a tremendous beginning of a world championship. For those who are driving there and wanting to take their cars across the finish line unharmed, this is a pretty complex and strenuous mission. We’re running with three cars, which also serves to get the team to gel again at an early stage of the year. It‘ll be difficult to get through such a race without any collisions. You need to stay clear of all trouble while maintaining a good pace, which is always important at Sebring. Only then will you have a chance of being at the very top in the end. Last year we had a quick car but, unfortunately, weren‘t successful. Obviously, we want to make up for that this year and clinch Audi’s tenth victory on this historically important race track.”

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): “This is the first world championship round for all of us. For the first time, we‘re running with three cars at Sebring, which will be a great challenge. Naturally, were happy that the season will open there and we’ll be competing with the modified 2011-spec model. Things are continuing the way we experienced them last year at Atlanta - with an incredibly full field of more than 60 cars. You’ve got to get through without any problems and mistakes. If you do, then you’ll have good chances of taking places at the front. Our tasks are clear. We need to get into a rhythm for the full season and score as many championship points as possible.”

Marcel Fässler (35/CH), Audi R18 TDI #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest): “We’re in for a thrilling race because the situation will be a bit tight for everyone with more than 60 cars on the track. Of course I’m expecting for us to be able to set the pace at the front of the field. I’m personally pleased to be able to battle for overall victory in an LMP car for the first time at Sebring. I’m also hoping for us to have the necessary bit of racing luck to do so.”

André Lotterer (30/D), Audi R18 TDI #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest): “I’m really excited because the new world championship will no doubt be very interesting. Expectations are high. Naturally, we’re driving to win. I’ve never contested this 12-hour race before. I’ve reeled off a large number of test kilometers at Sebring though. The track really suits me well. It is great fun and I enjoy driving there. That’s why I’m really looking forward to the event.”

Benoît Tréluyer (35/F), Audi R18 TDI #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest): “I’m very much looking forward to my run. For the first time I’ll be racing on this track that I’ve only known from tests so far. This probably won’t be an easy task but the atmosphere is excellent with a large crowd. I’ve heard a lot about this race - and now I’m finally part of it.”

Dindo Capello (47/I), Audi R18 TDI #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest): “At Sebring, the Audi brand and we drivers have seen many nice successes. I’ve personally won four times there. Naturally, another victory with Audi Sport Team Joest would be a great thing that I would truly enjoy. We last achieved that in 2009. That seems like a pretty long time ago. Our adrenaline level is rising again. A success at the 60th anniversary of this endurance race that is really significant in the United States would be particularly nice and important.”

Tom Kristensen (44/DK), Audi R18 TDI #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest): “The 2012 season is starting with a nice big race - the Sebring 12 Hours. In all these years the circuit has remained almost unchanged. The track’s character, the bumps, the tarmac - almost everything is the way it used to be in the past. A legendary circuit plus more than 60 entrants on the anniversary event: The season could hardly be off to a better - or tougher - start.”

Allan McNish (42/GB), Audi R18 TDI #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest): “This year, Sebring stands for something really special. The new world championship is attracting a lot of attention. And, as always, Sebring is a tough race. For the many fans it is a nice season opener. The atmosphere and passion there are unique. For Audi, this race is linked to a large number of nice successes. Hopefully, we’ll be able to continue this list with the R18 TDI. This is an unusual feeling. We fielded the car for almost a whole season, but not at Sebring. Normally, our race cars are making their debut there but this time it’ll be the last run of the previous version of the car. After our test in December, I’m sure that the R18 TDI will be strong.”

Timo Bernhard (31/D), Audi R18 TDI #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest): “‘I’m very much looking forward to Sebring. I drove there for the first time in 2001. That was also my first endurance race and I’ve got many fond memories of this track. With Romain Dumas I managed to clinch overall victory there in 2008. Last year, our pace was good but we had two punctures which cost us any chance of victory. This year, I’m traveling there with high expectations. Sebring is always a great opener, a challenging race track and a superb event. I’m happy to be part of it again.”

Romain Dumas (34/F), Audi R18 TDI #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest): “Sebring is one of the nicest races of the year. It’s also a very difficult one - in 2012 more than 60 cars will be in the field. You’ve got to stay on track and avoid problems. I think the outcome will really only be decided in the final hour of the race. Timo (Bernhard) and I won in 2008, Loïc (Duval) last year. The three of us have a good chance for victory.”

Loïc Duval (29/F), Audi R18 TDI #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest): “This is a special season opener for me. I’m running for Audi for the first time, which has been a dream of mine for quite some time. The inaugural race of the World Endurance Championship at Sebring marks the beginning of a new era. And for me personally the return to Florida is very special too as I won the race last year together with two team-mates. At Audi, I’m competing together with Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas and am eager to see how well we’ll gel. One thing is certain: In my first few weeks I noticed that the team spirit at Audi is outstanding.”