Loïc Duval has celebrated many major successes in motorsport. They include a victory in the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans plus winning the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in the same year. Still, at the age of 34, the Frenchman is once again facing a new beginning.

Besides his brand colleague René Rast, Duval is the only newcomer in the 2017 DTM field of 18 drivers. “In spite of my experience in motorsport, I’m almost a rookie again,” says the Frenchman. “Obviously, I know that the DTM isn’t an easy series. But I’ve always been a great fan of the DTM and feel privileged to be able to compete in another great championship following Audi’s withdrawal from the WEC.”

The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with Le Mans as its pinnacle event of the season was the series that was home to Loïc Duval professionally in the past five years. “2013, with victory at Le Mans and the WEC title win together with Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen, was a tremendous season,” says the Frenchman. Only a year later, he hit the headlines with a serious accident at Le Mans – a story bearing some resemblance to that of his new DTM teammate Mike Rockenfeller.

Just like “Rocky,” Duval returned to the cockpit following a brief recovery and in 2016, when Audi achieved its last two triumphs in the WEC, sat in the winning Audi R18 on both occasions.

“I’m delighted to form a team in the DTM now with Mike,” says Duval. “We’ve always gotten along really well. Mike’s a good, open-minded guy and knows the ropes in the DTM. I can only benefit from his experience.”

The DTM scene, though, is not an all-new one for Duval. In 2004 and 2005, he contested the Formula 3 Euro Series. During that time he would watch the DTM races with bated breath and also became familiar with most of the race tracks at which DTM races are held. “New for me are Moscow, Budapest and the Red Bull Ring. But today it’s relatively easy to get to know race tracks on the simulator.”

Following his Formula 3 days, Duval went on to race in Japan for nearly a decade. As well as in single-seater racing, he was active in the Super GT Championship there, which he won in 2010. “I drove cars there that were similar to the ones in the DTM, so I immediately felt comfortable in my first test in the Audi RS 5 DTM at Jerez. Besides that, this is not the worst point in time for switching to the DTM. In 2017, there’ll be changes in aerodynamics, engine power and tires. Plus, the tires can no longer be preheated. All these things mean that even seasoned campaigners have to make some adjustments, it may be easier for me to reach the same level.”

His goal for his first DTM year: “I’d like to have a lot of fun because that’s when the results are good too. The faster I adjust to the DTM the sooner good results can be expected. I’d like to mount the podium in the 2017 season. I know that in Audi Sport Team Phoenix I can rely on the backing of a strong team. After all, it’s the team that clinched the last two titles for Audi.”

Alongside the DTM, Duval will continue to contest the FIA Formula E electric racing series. “In case of overlapping events, the DTM will clearly take priority,” says the Frenchman who was born in Chartres, 130 kilometers northeast of Le Mans, and lived in Tokyo for a long time. Today, the DTM newcomer lives in Nyon on Lake Geneva in Switzerland together with his wife, Gaëlle, and their two sons, Hugo and Martin. Parked in the family’s garage used to be an Audi RS 6 Avant that in 2017 will be replaced by an Audi SQ7. “A perfect family car,” Duval enthuses.

Besides racing, soccer is one of the Frenchman’s passions. Be it at official PR events, games with celebrity teams or simply in his private surroundings – Duval is an avid kicker and has been a supporter of Audi’s partner FC Bayern München ever since his childhood days. “I love tennis as well. I’m generally a big sports fan and enjoy watching many sporting events on television. At the beginning of the year, I had the opportunity to watch the Hahnenkamm ski race on-site in Kitzbühel. That was a great experience too.”

Duval personally stays fit primarily by cycling and swimming. He is into hoverboarding and has been working out with a private fitness coach since last winter. For the DTM, he selected 77 as his car number, another parallel to Mike Rockenfeller who drives car number 99. “I’ve had a 7 on several occasions in my career. But it was no longer available in the DTM, so I thought that maybe a double 7 will bring me a double dose of fortune ...”


Loïc Duval (F)

Date of birth: 12. Juni 1982
Place of birth: Chartres (F)
Residence: Nyon (CH)
Marital status: married to Gaëlle, two sons (Hugo and Martin)
Height/weight: 1.78 m/70 kg
Motorsport since: 1992 (Audi driver since 2012)

Sporting career

1992–2001 Kart
2000 1st Trophée Laborde, 3rd Karting World Championship Formula A
2002 1st Formula Campus France
2003 1st Formula Renault France
2004 11th Formula 3 Euro Series, member of Renault Driver Development
2005 6th Formula 3 Euro Series, member of Renault Driver Development
2006 4th Formula Nippon, 11th Super GT Japan, Rookie Driver A1 Team France
2007 2nd Super GT Japan, 4th A1 GP with A1 Team France, 6th Formula Nippon
2008 2nd Formula Nippon, 4th A1 GP with A1 Team France, 1st Rookie Classification Le Mans (Prix Jean Rondeau)
2009 1st Formula Nippon, 3rd Team Classification Asian Le Mans Series, 5th A1 GP with A1 Team France
2010 1st Super GT Japan, 3rd Formula Nippon
2011 1st Sebring 12 Hours, 3rd Super GT Japan
2012 1st Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours (Audi R18 ultra), 6th Formula Nippon
2013 1st Le Mans 24 Hours, 1st FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), 3 victories (each in Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 3rd Superformula
2014 7th FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), Superformula
2015 4th FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 9th FIA Formula E
2016 2nd FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), 2 victories, 3rd Le Mans 24 Hours (each in Audi R18), 8th FIA Formula E
2017 18th DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), FIA Formula E

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