#1 Audi returns to the pits - Photo: Rolex/Jad Sherif

2011 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Benoît Tréluyer made his return to the Circuit de la Sarthe yesterday as preparation for the 2012 running of the twice around the clock race heated up.

Running in the #1 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro the day was all about exploring the car’s hybrid technology, and in doing so confirmed the strong pace of the car ass he took second place in the trio of Audi’s topping the time sheets.

“We weren't aiming to chase the fastest time but it is nevertheless pleasing to finish near the top of the timesheets without really exploring outright performance,” revealed Benoît.

“Our main goal was to evaluate as many set-up options as possible with the pair of R18 e-tron quattros and two R18 Ultras in order to find solutions for addressing any possible problems, however small, that can occur during such a long race.

“We sent the car out and identified what was and wasn't working well according to each area tested. That allowed us to find the correct way forward should we want more performance, less tyre wear, etc. We went through a large number of set-ups that will be useful depending on race-day circumstances.”

The morning session saw Tréluyer share driving duties with team-mates André Lotterer and Marcel Fassler, each completing a double stint that included set-up changes. The afternoon saw more of the same in an interrupted session which saw numerous red flags, this failed to prevent the team from gaining valuable data in preparation for the race in two weeks time.

“We already had a good feeling before the Test Day but it is even better now,” explained Tréluyer. “The hybrid system works perfectly and the car is easy to drive. So we are well prepared. There are no negatives, only positives!”

Following a debrief with all the Audi drivers Today Tréluyer heads off to Paris where he is a guest of TV channel France 2. He will then head to the South of France for a few days relaxing before heading to Le Mans.