Nicolas Lapierre has quite a full schedule these days. He just claimed the second step on the LMP2 class podium at the 6 Hours of Fuji in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the wheel of Signatech Alpine Matmut's #36 Alpine A470-Gibson, and is now headed to Portimão, Portugal where he will participate next weekend in the finale of the European Le Mans Series season with DragonSpeed's #21 ORECA 07-Gibson. In the meantime, the French driver has revealed what he most enjoys about the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Do you prefer...
...the start or the finish?: "I prefer the start. It's a pretty stressful moment so I'd rather spend it in the car. It's better to be in it the car than spinning your wheels (laughs, Ed.)."
...the first, second or third stint?: "I'd say the first stint because that's when the tires are new and the car is most efficient."
...Scrutineering or the Drivers' Parade?: "I admit I prefer the Drivers' Parade. It's the last relatively relaxing moment before the race and there is so much enthusiasm! It's very festive, all the drivers are in the same place, it's really great this interaction with the public."
...dusk or dawn?: "Without hesitation, dusk. The morning is hard for me I admit. I am not a morning person (laughs, Ed.). Generally speaking, the end of the night and early morning are not my favorite times. When the sun goes down and night begins to fall, the atmosphere is wonderful: the lights, the smell of barbecue, it's magical!"
...a few hours of sleep during the night of the 24 Hours of Le Mans or stay awake?: "I go for a sleepless night. Every day leading up to the race, I try to sleep as much as possible. Any opportunity, even during daylight, I can get to sleep, even if it's just for an hour, I take it. Then during the race, I have a hard time sleeping."
...a massage or a meal after a stint?: "It depends, I prefer to eat right away, take a shower, talk with the engineers and then I go and rest."
...the Indianapolis corner or the Porsche curves? "The Porsche curves are a magical section even though that area has changed slowly but surely over the years. I find that a bit of a shame, that part of the circuit is just mythical to me. Indianapolis is also very enjoyable, but it's only one turn. The Porsche curves last about 15 seconds, I love it!"
...dry or wet track? "Dry, of course. This track is so much fun when it's dry!"
...running or cycling in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans? "I prefer to run because I get rather bored when I bike ride. I find it too long. So I run and also do other sports. I like more athletic activities that are dynamic and fun."
...the mountains or the sea after the 24 Hours of Le Mans?: "I'd say a bit of both. I have family in the mountains and my parents live in the south of France. I like to move, not stay in one place."