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Fidani Chasing Akin Award for 24H Le Mans Debut With AWA

Orey Fidani on his first experience of Circuit de la Sarthe in Road to Le Mans event last weekend…

Photo: AWA Racing

Orey Fidani said his first taste of Le Mans was an “awesome experience” as the Canadian driver eyes taking AWA to the 24-hour classic next year in a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R.

Fidani and Michelin Endurance Cup co-driver Lars Kern took part in last weekend’s pair of Road to Le Mans races at Circuit de la Sarthe at the wheel of a Kessel Racing-prepared Ferrari 296 GT3, in preparation for a bid in the French endurance classic in 2025.

The pair combined for a 15th place class finish in Race 1 before improving to eighth in Race 2.

“The trip definitely met most of my expectations,” said Fidani.

“It’s a pretty amazing event, even from the viewing standpoints. All the tents around the track, the paddock and garage setups, seeing the parade and all the fans who are a part of that… it was an awesome experience.

“The track itself is incredible. It’s so long, so quick and so many blind spots with some of the rises is a big challenge. The weather seems to always play a role there too, especially with it being different all around the track.

“You always hear that about Le Mans, but seeing it and experiencing it really showed me how true that is.

“The Porsche Curves was eye-opening. Even the Dunlop Curves at the start of the lap are quite tough and very technical, as were the last couple of chicanes at the end. It can get pretty hairy there with a bunch of cars coming through at the same time. That part was a little surprising.

“You think of Le Mans is a big, wide-open track but there definitely are technical sections where it’s more about car balance and handling than outright pace.”

Fidani and AWA team owner Andrew Wojteczko have expressed ambitions of contesting the race in 2025, subject to winning this year’s IMSA Bob Akin Bronze Cup championship, which would award an auto-invite to the LMGT3 class.

The Canadian driver currently holds a 30-point lead over Inception Racing’s Brendan Iribe and Sheena Monk, of Gradient Racing, in the Akin award standings heading into this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

“When I started racing, I never really knew where I’d end up,” Fidani said. “As I started coming up through IMSA and especially being with Corvette, it started to look like going to Le Mans might be an attainable goal.

“So that’s our aim… to get there at least once. It’s a bucket-list race for sure.”

Fidani credited the success of former Corvette Racing factory driver Ron Fellows for being in the position he is today.

“Ron was a huge mentor growing up and was a big reason why I got into sports cars,” he said. “He helped push me and really helped me get my foot in the door.

“I’ve learned a ton from Ron. I’ve done all my schooling with him. He’s been a big part of my career and has given me a lot of help through the years. I really appreciate it and appreciate him.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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