Tréluyer ready to unleash his inner fire on the ice!

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After a learning year in GT racing, triple Le Mans 24 Hours winner and 2012 FIA World Endurance Champion Benoît Tréluyer will return to the Andros Trophy with an Audi A1 Quattro and a brand new team.

Following a successful first experience last year with W Racing Team, the French endurance ace heads to the Andros Trophy this winter with strong ambitions.

Tréluyer will spearhead Belgian team ComToYou Racing’s assault on the ice. The Waterloo-based squad are managed by Jean-Michel Baert and will be making their championship debut.

Whilst joining a new team may look like a gamble, it’s not as crazy as it seems, as François Verbist, Team Principal at ComToYou Racing – which shone in this season’s TCR International Series with two Audi RS3 LMS cars – is the son of WRT founder René Verbist.

For this new challenge, the team has been strengthened with the addition of experienced ice-racing mechanics and engineers.

Benoît, who will share his Audi with Lionel Daziano – while Nathanaël Berthon and Louis Gervoson will occupy a second car – is planning to use his 2016/17 experience to challenge ice specialists such as Jean-Baptiste Dubourg, Franck Lagorce and Benjamin Rivière.

“Last year, I had to learn a lot of parameters, four-wheel steering, entering corners in reverse and so on,” notes the Audi Driver. “I was quite far off the pace in qualifying during the first round, but by the second weekend in Andorra I was fighting for the super pole.”

“After this I missed one race and it cut my rhythm. In fact, as usual with motorsport, you are always a good student at the beginning and learn quickly. After that, you try harder and enter a difficult period. You think that you’ve got it and want to push further, but this is when disaster strikes.

“Last year for example, I thought I was going to be competitive on slower, more technical layouts, but the complete opposite happened. This year I know my weak points and I will work on them.”

Benoît discovered the Andros Trophy in 2014, where he took part in the Lans-en-Vercors round of the Electric Andros Championship; since then he’s continued to learn all the key skills to race on ice.

“In order to be quick, you need to find good traction,” said Tréluyer. “It is important to exit well from corners, so you need to be positioned properly on the entry. This means evaluating the quantity of snow and ice.

“More important is entering the corners backwards, if you accelerate facing the wrong way, you brake! This is achieved by playing with the clutch using your left foot.”

The Andros Trophy is, before anything else, a family, which organiser Max Mamers gets together once a year, creating a completely unique world where drivers are specially invited.

“The Andros Trophy is the whole package,” laughs Benoît, who is used to racing at some of the world’s top circuits. “There is the atmosphere, sliding on the ice, and the short tracks that are very close to the public.

“In addition to this you need to be very technical and well prepared – taking care of the spikes and the tyres. It’s great fun and there is plenty of action. Qualifying is done over the sum of four flying laps, then there is a super pole with the five fastest drivers.”

“It is a very specific exercise where you need to deliver the perfect lap. Achieving this causes you to explode with joy behind your visor!”

The championship takes competitors from Val Thorens to Andorra, via Alpe d’Huez, the season split by the Christmas period, before continuing in 2018.

At the beginning of January, Benoît will then have an idea about his chances of winning the title, even if for the moment his objectives are purely on achieving race victories.

“I know that it is going to be difficult to win the championship as early as the second season, but I want to fight for podiums and wins,” he said. “Last year my target was to score some podiums and win a race. I managed some top-threes but did not clinch a victory. I had the potential to achieve it, but I got a bit lost towards the end of the season and missed some opportunities.

“This year I know how to manage weekends and I want to climb on the top step of the podium.”

Another target for Benoît will be to beat his 2017 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup team-mate Berthon, who had a breakthrough campaign in the Andros Trophy last year. In order to topple the likes of Dubourg, Lagorce and Rivière, the Frenchman will need to show his inner fire on the ice!


2017/18 Andros Trophy calendar:

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: 3 February[:fr]Vanufartdesign2017

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[:]

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