Monday, April 1, 2013

Blancpain Endurance Series: A word from ... Rahel Frey

Audi Press Release

In two weeks from now, at Monza, you will be running for the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the Blancpain Endurance Series (BES) for the first time. Are you looking forward to this new challenge in the Audi R8 LMS ultra? 

Yes, absolutely. The winter break was long and I used it to optimally prepare for my new tasks. Two weeks ago, I was at Le Castellet for the official BES tests and really enjoyed my first laps in the Audi R8 LMS ultra. Now I can hardly wait for the season to start.

As a former DTM racer, how did you manage the switch to a GT3 sports car?

I managed well right away. The weight of the Audi R8 LMS ultra is a bit heavier and it has systems such as ABS and traction control. I’ve also got to make more compromises with respect to the set-up because I’m sharing the car with two other drivers. But I’ll soon feel at home in the GT world.

Your team is starting into the BES season as the title defender. To what extent are you benefiting from the squad’s experience?

WRT’s extensive experience will no doubt make it easier for me to get started in the Blancpain Endurance Series. I’m very thankful for being backed by such a good team. By the same token, I’d be happy if I could pass on some of my experiences to WRT. From a sporting perspective, the level in the DTM that I come from was obviously top-class and I got to know the processes in a factory-backed team. I want to continue to build on that.

You are sharing the cockpit with the Austrian Nikolaus Mayr-Melnhof and the New Zealander Matthew Halliday. Are you happy with this driver pairing?

It’s nice to come into contact with other nations as well. We get along well and all of us are motivated and ambitious. The whole WRT squad is very open-minded. If you’ve got a wish as a driver or want to change something on the car they listen to you. There’s a lot of discussion taking place and that allows the entire team to move forward. On the whole, we’re three well-balanced and competitive Audi driver teams at WRT. It’ll be a thrilling battle.

In 2013, the BES is running on five European race tracks. Which one do you like best?

My fondest memories are those of the track at Monza. Being Swiss, this is my home track in a way and I was able to win a Swiss Formula Renault race there in the past. And of course I’m very much looking forward to the 24-hour race at Spa. That’ll no doubt be a highlight.