Following his first race as Head of LMP, Stefan Dreyer analyzes round four of the FIA WEC at the Nürburgring.
After the race at Le Mans, Audi Sport did a lot of work. How satisfied are you with the first weekend in your new role?
After Le Mans, we didn’t leave a single stone unturned, worked diligently and improved. That was clearly evident in the way the race at the Nürburgring went. We were strong in qualifying, led the race with both cars and set the fastest race lap, but nevertheless, we suffered a setback halfway through the race. Otherwise we would have been in contention for victory. Today, for the first time this year, both driver squads finished on podium.
Audi used the third aerodynamics package for the first time this season. How satisfied are you?
We expected this bodywork to fit the remaining race tracks. Now we have to achieve the optimum with this package. This will be important because the first half of the championship points for this year have been awarded – now the crucial second half is coming up.
The deficit resulted from a caution period. What exactly happened?
With both Audi R18 cars we had made the third refueling stop when a caution period occurred. Porsche, due to their fuel tank capacity, are able to run a longer distance on one filling – this is a result of the regulations. Consequently, Porsche’s stop fell exactly into this period when the rest of the field had to drive around the track only at a slow pace. This made it possible for Porsche to gain an advantage of over 30 seconds. Due to the subsequent caution periods, we didn’t have to make another refueling stop. Otherwise we’d have lost even more ground due to this splash-and-dash stop.
What are your next goals?
I’m growing into my new role now and am in a personal learning process. I was already pretty happy with the performance of the whole squad in the Eifel. Everyone knows what’s still at stake this year. Five of nine races are coming up. We’re going to do everything within our means to battle for the world championship this year. My job is to motivate all the people and to align the processes of the LMP program to this mission. The overseas races have always been very demanding and won’t be any easier this year. But we do have a good chance to be in contention.
Further information about the official fuel consumption figures and official, specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the “Guide to fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption of new cars,” which is available free of charge from all sales outlets and from DAT (Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH), Hellmuth-Hirth-Strasse 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, Germany (http://www.dat.de).