Fresh off victory in last weekend’s Six Hours of Shanghai, Benoit Treluyer arrived at Sebring International Raceway to drive an Audi, but not his typical 550-plus horsepower R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 machine.
Instead, the 2012 FIA WEC champion was at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS car for the first time, helping Paul Miller Racing get up to speed with its new GT Daytona contender it will campaign in next year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
“I had fun [Saturday] morning but it was just a shakedown,” Treluyer told Sportscar365. “I want to learn more about GTs. The GTs I was driving before in Super GT are closer to prototypes than to a GT car. I still have to learn a lot but I’m enjoying the car.”
Treluyer joined Bryce Miller behind the wheel of the mid-engined sports car on Saturday, as the 36-year-old Frenchman learned the ropes of the GT3 car alongside the veteran ALMS squad, which is making the transition from a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR it ran for the last three years.
The team took recently took delivery of the brand-new car, built to FIA GT3 specification but featuring IMSA-specific aero adjustments as well as the removal of traction control and ABS, among other minor adjustments to conform to GTD regulations.
With Miller the only confirmed driver for the team thus far, Treluyer is hopeful of returning for the Rolex 24, or potentially other races, schedule-permitting.
Team owner Paul Miller said no decision has been made on their co-driver for the season, or additional pilots for the North American Endurance Championship races.
“I received a call two weeks ago to come here for the test and so far we’ve just talked about the test,” Treluyer said. “But if I get the opportunity, I will take it. But at the moment I’m quite busy right now with the new [LMP1] program and I don’t know if I have time to do more races.
“At the moment I haven’t tested the new [LMP1] car but it’s going to come soon and we’re going to have a lot of work. That’s my main program and I want to do it well. But if it can fit in another program, it would be great for me.”