Benoît Tréluyer and his Audi Sport Team Joest team-mates André Lotterer and Marcel Fässler won the 6 Hours of Silverstone last weekend, the opening race of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship.
With 20 minutes to go in the race, and Fässler in the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro, the team was handed a stop-go penalty for overtaking over the track limits. Tréluyer explains his frustration at this decision:
“Nobody was respecting track limits during my two stints and I radioed the team each time so that they could inform the stewards,” said Tréluyer. “Although going wide doesn’t really help you overtake, it does enable you to defend your position.
“When I was done with my double stint, and handed over to André, I briefly mentioned it to him and discussed the matter with Marcel as well. Since no one was getting penalised, why should we be the only ones not taking advantage of the situation? But instead we ended up being punished for doing the same as everyone else!”
Despite this setback towards the end of the race, Fassler still took the chequered flag.
However, this wasn’t the only difficulty the Audi team faced on the way to their win. “We were a bit disappointed with fifth place on the grid after topping the timesheets during practice” explains Benoît. “And at the start, the right gear did not engage so I was swamped by the pack. I quickly recovered and took extra care overtaking the GTs – there’s no point rushing or doing anything foolish just to gain a couple of seconds.
“We’re all really happy because the three of us did a great job. This result comes as a well-deserved reward for all the effort the team have put in over the winter. We knew a win was within reach, and Silverstone just validated that the decisions we made were right.
“However, the Porsche was very strong – I personally didn’t think they’d be that competitive so long into their stints, which goes to show that we can’t afford to relax. No doubt we’ve got a season-long fight for the championship on our hands. Silverstone is just the beginning!”
The next round of the 2015 FIA WEC is the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, to be held on May 2.