Between Stephane Ortelli and the 24 Hours of Spa, we can speak of love story. On four occasions, Monaco is actually mounted on the top step of the podium in GT2 class. In 2003, he was even able – to everyone’s surprise – to put this race under his belt as he had with his teammates in a Porsche in the second category. For this 62nd edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the Belgian team will join Stephen W Racing Team. At the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS, the former Le Mans winner hopes to make a new coup in the Belgian Ardennes.
Spa is the endurance race the hardest in the world.
Stefan, the 24 Hours of Spa, is a special event for you?
“It is true that it is a race that I love. On the one hand, she smiled at me often, as in that famous victory overall in 2003. On the other hand, I love this race because there rolling on the most beautiful circuit in the world and is, in my opinion, the endurance test the toughest in the world. ”
“Because it’s an event where it takes a lot of pace and that the pilot did not have time to rest. Unlike at Le Mans, where you can blow on the straights, the driver has almost no respite here, with many quick turns. There is the climb to Les Combes, but we already time to digest the passage through the Eau Rouge, which is a challenge at every turn, and manage traffic in the small curve that follows . In short, this race is really difficult. But I must admit that it is also what I like. ”
Can you say that you’ve become a true specialist in stamina?
“In any case, the format of a race I like 24 hours. For me, one year without a race of 24 hours is not a good year. And Spa is like my only two clock tower year, you imagine that I’m highly motivated. ”
You will certainly not find the disadvantage of your mount …
“It is true that I am very familiar with the Audi R8 LMS since I have won three GT Championship in France in 2009 at the wheel and I went up three times on the podium this year. I also had the chance to make a lot of testing with Audi to develop the 2010 version. The car will however be a bit different as it will be here in a configuration endurance, where we will focus more reliability than speed on a tower or a short distance. ”
What are your hopes before the race?
“Frankly, I think we can play a role in, otherwise I would not be here. The first objective will be to be the first car in the GT3 category. And I think the first GT3 will not be too bad overall … But the fight is really very open with Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Ford … It’s gonna be fun. ”
- Belgian Audi Club