Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bitter 24 Hours of Spa for Laurens Vanthoor

Laurens Vanthoor Press Release

This edition of Total 24 Hours of Spa seemed to be doomed for Laurens Vanthoor, his teammates Rene Rast and Stéphane Ortelli and the WRT Audi. Following a double win in Spa, Audi struggled, despite the tremendous effort of all the drivers, the teams and the manufacturer.

Laurens Vanthoor didn’t even see the night falling over Spa, as his car retired too early. Laurens Vanthoor is understandably very disappointed and now has to focus on the FIA GT Series, where he retains the lead before going to Slovakia, Spain and Azerbaijan.

Laurens Vanthoor didn’t score a first win in Spa in front of his home crowd in the 2013 edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa. In his #1 Audi R8 LMS Ultra of the Belgian Audi WRT Team, the race came to a far too early end.

Laurens Vanthoor: “Before speaking about the race, there is an overall statement regarding the competition as it is right now. Our car lacks pace on the straight line and even having requested a Balance of Performance change, it did not appear and so we started out with a major handicap.
I was able to take Eau Rouge flat-out during qualifying, which is a major risk, and even by doing so, I lost one second in the first sector compared to our competitors. The first sector is comprised out of Eau Rouge and… a straight line. So how on earth can we still lose so much time?”
Laurens Vanthoor risks finally paid off, as he was the only Audi driver to qualify for super pole on Friday evening.

Laurens Vanthoor: “I took risks seeing the team allowed me to do so. It was the only way to get into the top 20, which I did in the closing stages of the night session. Of course it was a relief, but again, given the line-up of the Audi cars, how is it possible that there was only one Audi in the top 20 and finally, I wasn’t in the top 10 either. I was just part of the top 20…”

The race turned out to be a nightmare for Laurens Vanthoor and his team. The car retired too early, which left the young Belgian driver and Rene Rast and Stéphane Ortelli as race spectators.
Laurens Vanthoor: “The Audi is such a good car, so well prepared and now we encounter a problem which had not happened for over 3 years! It’s hard to believe, however bad luck is part of competition as well. The only thing I wonder about is: why here in this beautiful race?”

Laurens Vanthoor will now take a break until the fourth round of the FIA GT Series where Vanthoor will be defending his leadership on the 17th and 18th of August.

Photo credit: W Racing Team