Audi trio reflect on ‘unexpected’ Spa triumph

by Paul Hensby

The #8 Audi Sport Team Joest trio of Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis secured their first victory as a partnership during the sometimes chaotic and exciting Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday.

The car was the only one of the six Hybrid LMP1 entries not to encounter some kind of technical issue during the six hour enduro, and for Brazilian di Grassi, it is his first victory in the championship and a motivational boost heading into June’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“What a crazy race,” reflected di Grassi afterwards. “We really didn’t expect this result. In the end, it was about endurance racing qualities and we were the only driver squad in a hybrid sports car to finish without issues.

“Following the season opener at Silverstone, Audi provided us with a very reliable car today. I’m very happy about my first victory with this team. This is a motivational boost for all of us. Now I’m wishing for us to have a good race at Le Mans.”

Team-mate Duval believes the team deserved the victory around the Belgian track, and said the points earned for both the #8 and the sister #7 that came fifth were valuable as they aim to compete for the championship.

“The entire squad worked hard and deserves this victory,” said Duval. “These 25 points are valuable for all of us because it means a barren spell for number ‘8’ has ended.

“However, we shouldn’t forget that our number ‘7’ sister car, after many setbacks, recovered and scored important points for Audi as well.”

Third driver Jarvis admitted the team were not expecting to take victory, having not had the pace to compete with either Porsche or Toyota in Belgium, but was happy to stay out of trouble to secure the win.

This was our first joint victory,” said a happy Jarvis. “Especially in this of all races we hardly expected it, because our pure lap times weren’t good enough this weekend.

“But we stayed clear of all trouble and did a good job of finishing the race. That’s a fantastic success for the team which it has deserved for a long time. What a great feeling before Le Mans.”

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