Q & A: Andy Priaulx on Le Mans debut

Andy Priaulx is making his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend, sharing a works BMW M3 with fellow rookie Dirk Werner and Dirk Muller

Q & A: Andy Priaulx on Le Mans debut

AUTOSPORT caught up with the triple World Touring Car champion, who lives closer to Le Mans than many a Frenchman, as he prepares for the race to start tomorrow.

Q. How are you finding your first Le Mans?

Andy Priaulx: I'm really enjoying it. The first two days have been pretty quiet - there's not a lot to do during the day apart from lots of meetings - but now I'm really beginning to feel Le Mans with the crowds. I've seen lots of British people here, which is really nice. It feels very British.

It's my closest racing track to my home in Guernsey - two hours' drive - and this is the first time I've been here! I'm fulfilling a dream. I've been wanting to do this race for many years ands now I'm here.

Q. What do you think of the circuit itself?

AP: It's pretty straightforward, which is what everyone told me, but not in the dark. You arrive at the corners at a very high speed and it's not really that visible, so it's about finding a rhythm. It's quite difficult in greasy conditions. It's like Monza, but I'm learning the idiosyncrasies, such as how to be quick in traffic.

Q. What's it like having the LMP1s coming up behind you so fast?

AP: You're in the mirror all the time and it's bloody awful, but I knew it was going to be. Spa was too, in fact I found Spa to be harder, but we haven't raced yet. In the race they'll be locked in battle, passing you.

Q. You've already made your first appearances at Road Atlanta, the Sebring 12 Hours, and the Spa 1000km in the last few months, which one stands out?

AP: I loved Sebring. We had a bloody good race and we finished on the podium. It was a hard race - it was bumpy, it was close. I went away feeling I'd really driven well. I'd almost driven a 10-hour touring car race.

GT2 feels no different to touring car racing. You have to drive at nine and a half tenths and take the big picture. I like that style of driving, the rhythm, and working with the team and two other drivers. I'm enjoying it.

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