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Oct 03, 2012 - 01:35 PM
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The Three Kings!
Posted by: newsla on Oct 03, 2012 - 01:34 PM
Sports Cars
The Three Kings!

Benoît Tréluyer, André Lotterer and Marcel Fässler’s thirst for victory helped the trio clinch another FIA World Endurance Championship win last weekend, this time in the desert kingdom of Bahrain. Neither sand nor dust could derail their progress at the Sakhir circuit where the thought of a first world title was no longer just a mirage…


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His first visit to the Middle East will live long in Benoît Tréluyer’s memory, not just because of the victory he scored there but also thanks to the warmth of the Bahraini people who welcomed the WEC with open arms at Sakhir.

“It was a nice surprise,” says the Frenchman. “Having never raced in the Middle East before I did not know what to expect but must admit to being impressed. Facilities were of the highest standards, we received a very warm welcome and I really appreciated it. The paddock BBQ on Wednesday night for example made me very happy. It is quite rare for all of the WEC participants to get together like that. I thought it was a great initiative by the organisers.”

The double Le Mans 24 Hours winner was equally enthusiastic about the track’s layout, with its pit buildings designed to represent an oasis while the rest of the circuit disappeared off into the desert.

“For a new, modern track I must say that it is very enjoyable and technical. The fast section of corners 11, 12 and 13 feels fantastic at the wheel of a sports-prototype. Straight away I felt good. In fact, I was so at ease that I recorded my best time of the whole weekend on the third lap!”

As decided beforehand, Marcel Fässler would qualify the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

“Surprised by the grip of his new tyres, Marcel turned into a corner too early and knocked over a plastic bollard, which brought out a red flag. He came back to the pits before recording two fast laps that allowed him to get within 0.070 seconds of the time set by Allan McNish. Not bad! Without the bollard incident at turn one pole position would have been possible.”

After following the #2 Audi at the start of the race, it wasn’t long before Marcel was able to pass the sister car and build a gap.

“The heat made the race very difficult,” continued Benoît. “We are not used to such temperatures in the WEC. Nevertheless, we suffered less than the opposition. In fact, we only had to change the front nose, just to be on the safe side, as we had lost a bit of downforce. Despite the scorching heat André attempted a double stint, but he was totally knackered when he got out of the car. From that moment on we decided to only do single runs. Following a safety car period we also realised that we could avoid an additional fuel stop. When the race restarted André began to save fuel, something I continued to do during my stint. Even so, our lap times were still very competitive!”

After six hours of racing, and for the third time this season, Fässler, Lotterer and Tréluyer took the chequered flag as winners.

“We maintained our usual strategy of trying to do our best while remaining very cautious amongst traffic,” concludes the Frenchman. “We crossed the line as winners and increased our advantage in the Drivers’ championship, which allows us to approach the 6 Hours of Fuji with confidence.”

That race takes place in Benoît’s adopted homeland of Japan where he cannot wait to again meet the legions of fans who have supported him so much in the past. After overcoming the desert sands it will be Mount Fuji’s eternally snow-capped peak that awaits the new kings of Bahrain.

6 Hours of Bahrain Result:
1. Tréluyer/Lotterer/Fässler (#1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 191 laps
2. Kristensen/McNish (#2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro) +1 lap
3. Leventis/Watts/Kane (#21 Strakka Racing HPD) +6 laps
4. Prost/Jani (#12 Rebellion Lola) +7 laps
5. Belicchi/Primat (#13 Rebellion Lola) +10 laps, etc…

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