Frileux, s’abstenir !

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After a year of training in GT, Benoît Tréluyer, three-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 2012 FIA World Endurance Champion, takes up the Andros challenge again with an Audi A1 Quattro and a brand new structure. Be careful the Normand enters his ice age!

To wake up the sensations, nothing better than a cold cocktail! After a rewarding first experience last year in the W Racing team, the French endurance star tackles this winter at the Andros Trophy with thawed ambitions.

Spearhead of ComToYou Racing, a young Belgian team based in Waterloo and led by Jean-Michel Baert, the native of Alençon opted for the freshness of the new by turning to a new structure in the discipline.

A bet not so frosted that since François Verbist, the main team of this team that has been illustrated in TCR this season with Audi RS3 LMS, is none other than the son of René Verbist, the founder of WRT.

Hence the arrival in reinforcement of mechanics and engineers experienced in the peculiarities of ice driving.

Benoît, who will share his car with Lionel Daziano – the second being entrusted to Nathanaël Berthon and Louis Gervoson – intends to capitalize on his promising campaign 2016/17 to challenge ice specialists Jean-Baptiste Dubourg, Benjamin Rivière and others. Franck Lagorce.

« Last year, I had a lot of parameters to learn: four-wheel steering, going backwards in turns, and so on. the Audi driver notes. I was far in qualifying the first weekend, but I played the super pole in the second round in Andorra.

I then had to miss a race and it cut me in my tracks. In fact, as always in motorsports, you are a good student at first and you learn fast. After, you try to add some and you enter in the difficult period. You think you understand, you want to give it back and this is where the disaster happens.

Last year, for example, I thought I was good on slow tracks and the opposite was true. This year, I know my weaknesses and I will work on it. « 

Benoît, who discovered the Trophy in 2014 in Lans-en-Vercors, competing for the fun of a round of Andros Electric has since assimilated the finesse of skiing.

« To go fast, you have to find motricity, » he says. It is important to make good turns, so to be well placed at the entrance. This requires a good reading of the track depending on the amount of snow or ice. The upside down cornering is an even bigger factor. In reverse, when you accelerate, it brakes. That’s what you have to do by playing with the clutch, the left foot … « 

And then, as Benoît likes to point out, there is not only the track, there is everything else … Universe like no other where we come because we are invited and not because we register, the Andros is first of all a family that Max Mamers meets every year.

« The Andros is a whole, smiles again who built his reputation on the tracks of the whole world. There is the atmosphere, the slide … It is played on small circuits, with a real proximity to the public. In addition, you have to be technical and well prepared. You have to look at the nails, manage your tires well. There is fun, action. The qualifiers are played on the total of four laps launched with a super pole for the top five. It’s a very special exercise where you have to do the perfect trick. The success makes you explode with joy behind your visor! « 

A festive explosion like the Trophy itself, which, starting this weekend, will take its protagonists from Val Thorens to Andorra through the Alpe d’Huez before the truce confectioners and recovery early 2018. In this January, Benoît will know a little more about his chances of winning the winter championship even if he limits at first his ambitions to victory.

« Je sais qu’il va être difficile de remporter le championnat dès la deuxième saison, déclare-t-il. Mais je veux me battre pour le podium et la gagne. L’an passé, je m’étais fixé comme objectif de faire des podiums et de remporter une course : j’ai fait des podiums mais je n’ai pas remporté de course. J’avais le potentiel pour y parvenir, mais je me suis éparpillé en fin de saison. J’ai laissé passer des occasions. Cette année, j’ai bien compris comment gérer les week-ends, et je veux la plus haute marche du podium. »

Une place que briguera aussi son équipier Nathanaël Berthon, une des révélations de la précédente saison. Pour repousser les Dubourg, Rivière et Lagorce déjà cités, ce n’est rien de moins que le feu sous la glace que promet le Normand… Frileux, s’abstenir !

 

Andros Trophy Calendar 2017/18

Val Thorens: 2/3 December
Alpe d’Huez: 8/9 December
Andorra: 15/16 December
Isola 2000: 12/13 January
Serre Chevalier: 20/21 January
Lans en Vercors: 26/27 January
Super Besse: February 3rd