Swiss LMP1 racing driver Harold Primat is this week in Le Mans, France, preparing for one of the most famous and iconic races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Harold will be competing in the Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota B12/60 Coupe LMP1 prototype in the toughest and most challenging endurance race in the world.
The 80th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will see Harold join teammates Andrea Belicchi and Jeroen Bleekemolen in the #13 car as they battle to win the top Privateer and petrol powered classes.
Harold’s team Rebellion Racing go into this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans as the current leaders of the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 Trophy for best Privateer Team with 37 points after having achieved a 1-2 finish at the last round, the 6 Hours of Spa.
The race is off on Saturday at 3pm local time but Harold has a busy two days ahead before the lights go green with drivers briefings and qualifying sessions;
Q) This is your eighth time racing at Le Mans. What makes the 24 Hour of Le Mans such a special and iconic race?
A) It’s difficult to put into words what makes it so special but it’s more than just a race, it’s an experience. The atmosphere is electric and it is an amazing spectacle to be part of. It is the biggest race in the world with so much history and prestige that it’s a huge honour to race here. It is a long, hard and very fast race so it is extremely challenging for racing drivers and that’s what makes a good result here even more rewarding.
Q) How do you prepare for such a demanding endurance race like Le Mans?
A) There’s a few different ways that I prepare. I watch onboard footage of different race cars competing at Le Mans to refresh my memory of the racing lines and find areas where I can improve when I am back there racing. I also make some slight changes to my training the week before Le Mans. Although I train all the year round, coming into Le Mans I do a specific week of training to prepare for the long race. This year I spent some time in the South of France with a number of other racing drivers on a programme that included cycling, swimming in the sea and running. Finally I also try to get some decent sleep ahead of the race as you don’t get a lot of sleep in the days leading up to the race or during the race itself so it’s good to be fully rested before the race week starts.
Q) What are your hopes and expectations for Le Mans this year?
A) We have a couple of targets. Firstly is to be at the top of the Privateer and petrol power classes. The diesel cars are going to be virtually impossible to beat because of their power advantage so to get an overall top six finish would be great. The race is so long that while it is important to push as hard as you can you also need to focus on not making any mistakes so we will be aiming for a clean and incident free race. We are going into the race week-end with confidence as the package we have with the car, the drivers and the team is strong so we are hopeful of a good result.
Q) You are driving the #13 car with Andrea Belicchi and Jeroen Bleekemolen. You have raced with them before, what is it like having them as teammates?
A) We have a great relationship amongst the drivers. My team mates are fast and we get on well. We have a strong line up with everyone pushing hard in the same direction. There is a challenging spirit but no rivalry and I think that is what helps make the success of a team in endurance racing.
The 24 Hour endurance race begins at 15:00 on Saturday 16 June with live television coverage on Eurosport and commentary via Radio Le Mans (www.radiolemans.com).
Notes to editors:
About Harold Primat:
Harold Primat is a Swiss racing driver with over 15 years racing experience including British F3, World Series Lights, Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series. Harold has competed in the world’s most famous endurance race; the 24 Hours of Le Mans, seven times and has achieved victories at all levels of racing; including his most recent win in the 2011 American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca.
Harold Primat is supported by partners, Harwood International, Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza, Crans Montana and Primland.
Follow Harold on Twitter @Harold_Primat and on Facebook
About Rebellion Racing: REBELLION Racing is a successful privateer team from Switzerland and one of the most respected teams in the premier class of endurance racing with a great record of achievements.
2011 CHAMPION Le Mans Series LMP1 Team
2011 CHAMPION Le Mans Series LMP1 Manufacturer
2011 2nd and 3rd Le Mans Series LMP1 Drivers championship
2011 3rd Intercontinental Le Mans Cup LMP1 Team championship
2011 1st Privateer LMP1 Team in Intercontinental Le Mans Cup
2011 6th Le Mans 24 Hours
2010 3rd Le Mans Series LMP1 Team championship
2009 WINNER Michelin Green X Challenge
2009 2nd Le Mans Series LMP2 Team championship
2009 2nd Le Mans Series LMP2 Drivers championship
2009 2nd Le Mans 24 Hours - LMP2
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