Loïc Duval has already celebrated many great successes in motorsport. These include a victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2013 and winning the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC in the same year. After two hard years of learning he also made his mark in the DTM in 2019. In his fourth season, the Frenchman wants even more.
“Despite my experience in motorsport I was practically a rookie again in 2017,” says the Frenchman. “I knew that the DTM is not an easy series. But the first season was nevertheless tougher than expected. There were highlights like my first DTM podium at Zandvoort, but nevertheless it was an extremely difficult season.”
From 2017 to 2018 he has taken a big step, he says. “Unfortunately, however, we at Audi had a bit of a hard time at the beginning. Only in the second half of the season were we really competitive again,” says Duval. Last season, with the switch from the naturally aspirated V8 engines to the in-line four-cylinder turbocharged engines and the 2019 version of the Audi RS 5 DTM, he made significant progress. This is documented by a second grid position at Brands Hatch and a third place at Fuji in the joint DTM and SUPER GT Series event in Japan. Loïc Duval clinched fourth place four times in the past DTM season.
“That’s why a podium finish for 2020 is a realistic goal,” says the Frenchman. Especially the good cooperation with his race engineer Phlipp Kluth gives him confidence. “For the first time, I don’t have to start to the new DTM season with a new race engineer but can build on the basis we created together in 2019,” says Duval.
Prior to his move to the DTM, the FIA Endurance World Championship (WEC) with its season highlight at Le Mans was Loïc Duval’s professional home for five years. “With the victory at Le Mans and the title win in the WEC together with Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen, 2013 was a fabulous season,” says the Frenchman.
One year later, he made the headlines with a serious accident at Le Mans – a story that has parallels to his current DTM team-mate Mike Rockenfeller. Just like “Rocky”, Duval returned to the cockpit after a brief recovery break and, in 2016, sat in the victorious Audi R18 in each of the last two Audi triumphs in the WEC.
“I’m very pleased that I’m forming a team with Mike in the DTM for the fourth year now,” says Duval. “We’ve always got along very well. Mike is a good, open-minded guy and knows what is important in DTM. And although I joined ‘his’ team at Phoenix and that certainly wasn’t easy for him, he always shared all the important information and insights with me.”
The DTM scene was not entirely new for Duval. In 2004 and 2005 he contested the Formula 3 Euro Series as part of the supporting program. He followed the DTM races with excitement and also got to know most of the race tracks where the DTM is held. After his Formula 3 time, Duval was drawn to Japan for almost a decade, where he was active in the SUPER GT Championship parallel to Formula Nippon, which he won in 2010. “I drove cars there that were similar to those in the DTM, which is one of the reasons why I felt immediately comfortable during the first test in the Audi RS 5 DTM.”
For a long time, the Frenchman lived in Tokyo. In the meantime, the Audi driver lives with his wife Gaëlle and their two sons Hugo and Martin on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. In the summer of 2018, the Duval family moved from Nyon to the neighboring town of Prangins. The garage currently houses an Audi Q8 50 TDI. “A perfect family car,” enthuses Duval.
Besides racing, soccer is one of the passions of the Frenchman. Whether at official PR events, celebrity team matches or in private life – Loïc Duval is a passionate kicker and has been a supporter of Audi partner FC Bayern Munich since childhood. “I also love tennis. All in all, I am a big sports fan and follow many sports events on television.”
Duval keeps fit mainly by cycling and swimming. He rides hoverboard and trains with a private fitness coach. In the DTM, his car bears the starting number 28, because: “This is the number of the French department where I was born. It has accompanied me all my life.”
Loïc Duval (F)
Date of birth: June 12, 1982
Place of birth: Chartres (F)
Place of residence: Prangins (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)
2000 1st place Trophée Laborde, 3rd place World Karting Championship Formula A
2002 1st place Formula Campus France
2003 1st place Formula Renault France
2004 11th place Formula 3 Euro Series, Member Renault Driver Development
2005 6th place Formula 3 Euro Series, Member Renault Driver Development
2006 4th place Formula Nippon, 11th place Super GT Japan, Rookie driver A1 Team France
2007 2nd place Super GT Japan, 4th place A1 GP with A1 Team France, 6th place Formula Nippon
2008 2nd place Formula Nippon, 4th place A1 GP with A1 Team France, 1st place Rookie classification Le Mans (Prix Jean Rondeau)
2009 1st place Formula Nippon, 3rd place team classification Asian Le Mans Series, 5th place A1 GP with A1 Team France
2010 1st place Super GT Japan, 3rd place Formula Nippon
2011 1st place 12 Hours Sebring, 3rd place Super GT Japan
2012 1st place 6 Hours Spa-Francorchamps (Audi R18 ultra), 6th place Formula Nippon
2013 1st place 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1st place FIA Endurance World Championship WEC, 3 victories (each Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 3rd place Super Formula
2014 7th place FIA World Endurance Championship WEC (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), Superformula
2015 4th place FIA World Endurance Championship WEC (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 9th place FIA Formula E
2016 2nd place FIA Endurance World Championship WEC, 2 victories, 3rd place 24 Hours Le Mans (each Audi R18), 8th place FIA Formula E
2017 18th place DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), 15th place FIA Formula E
2018 17th place DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), 3rd place 24 Hours Daytona
2019 7th place DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM), 2nd place Race of Champions
2020 DTM (Audi RS 5 DTM)