What are the secrets to driving the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit?
"Watch out for moles! They come out at night (laughs, Ed.)! No, seriously, this is a high-speed circuit with many straights at more than 300 kph. That's not where you make a difference. Time is decided a great deal on braking because a five-meter mistake at those speeds is huge. The most important thing is to know when and where to brake."
How would you describe these braking points?
"It depends on the car you're driving, and according to the grip as well, which changes and is not the same everywhere depending upon the weather. The circuit is not permanent and borrows regional roadways. After pinpointing your baseline braking points, you adjust according to whether you're doing an attack or traffic management lap."
The real test is the Porsche curves. They are long, complicated, and the trajectory is crucial.Loïc Duval (TDS Racing)
Indianapolis or the Porsche "Esses," where do you really make a difference in terms of lap time?
"Indianapolis because it's a trap to avoid since you always feel you're not going hard enough. So you keep pushing, but it's easy to go too far. The real test is the Porsche curves. They are long, complicated, and the trajectory is crucial. The first thing to do is look ahead to see if a GT is there or not. If it's clear, you know you can go full steam ahead. Afterwards, there is a bump on the right and one on the left that destabilises the car!"
Going after the pole, where exactly do you focus your attention?
"Where I took air in 2014! The exit of the second left turn and going into the first straight. I don't remember the accident so I don't know if I pushed too hard. But I don't think so because it was the free practice. If you can get through the second left pushing the limit, then you've made a difference in the straight. Then there's the karting corner that is rarely talked about, but the pull is to the outside, so you have to adjust the car."
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PHOTO: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES DU MANS, 2019. Winner in 2013 and about to take his ninth start in the 24 Hours, Loïc Duval knows the circuit like the back of his hand.
Source: Triple A Motorsport press release