Will Stevens says that getting his first GT win last weekend at Zolder gives him great momentum for his second attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this month.
The British driver benefitted from a strong weekend for his Belgian Audi Club Team WRT team in the third Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup round of the season.
He had a busy weekend, splitting his time between Zolder and the Le Mans Test Day, where he was getting practice in JMW Motorsport’s Ferrari 488 GTE that he will pilot in the race on June 17-18.
Stevens says it was a good weekend overall, and that the Blancpain GT win sets him on a good path with Le Mans and the Total 24 Hours of Spa coming up.
“If you take the whole year, pace-wise we’ve always been pretty competitive, we just had a few issues at the start of the year,” he told Sportscar365.
“Now the results are really starting to come, and I really feel like it’s coming at a good time of the year. Obviously, Le Mans is right around the corner and not so far ahead also is Spa.
“It’s nice to start getting a bit of momentum going, and for sure the win on Sunday is a great starting point.”
This year is the 25-year-old’s second year in GT racing, after leaving Formula 1 at the end of 2015.
Last season he secured two FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 class wins with G-Drive Racing, but Zolder was the first time he won a GT race.
“It’s always difficult in GTs with BoP and things, and you need everything to come together,” he explained. “At the moment, Audi seems pretty strong after the Nürburgring 24 and coming to Zolder.
“It’s tough coming from what I’ve been doing previously to GTs, and it’s obviously a big step, but now I feel completely at home in the GT car.
“I think working with [Markus] Winkelhock this year, we have a very good partnership and we’re working well together, so I think we can continue to get good results.
“It was a while coming but now I feel like we’re strong enough to keep getting victories.”
Stevens hopes that this success will carry on into next weekend at Le Mans, and says that the brief time he spent at the Test Day on Sunday went very well.
“We flew out on Sunday morning, very early,” he said. “Dries [Vanthoor] also had to do ten laps because it’s his first time at Le Mans.
“He had to do it, but I’ve been there before so I didn’t have to do it, but we felt it was important just to get a feel for the car. It’s my first time there in a GT car, so any laps I can do will help.
“Dries did his ten laps in the morning, then I jumped in and did a few laps after him, which went well. We haven’t had much time in the Ferrari, either.
“We did a few laps at the start of last week but I actually feel really good in the car because it’s very nice to drive, and we felt comfortable straight away.
“Hopefully we can keep that momentum going and start working with the car a bit more next week.”
While Le Mans will be his first race in not only a Ferrari but also a GTE car, Stevens is confident of being able to get a strong result.
Last year, he finished second in class with G-Drive, and he is looking to go one better this time.
“It’s a different discipline in the GTE car with no ABS, and a different manufacturer in Ferrari, so for sure there are differences, but it’s still a GT car,” he said.
“I feel like it’s great momentum heading into Le Mans, and it’s a great race. Finishing second there last year with G-Drive in LMP2, I wanted to go back with the chance of winning the class.
“The lineup we have is very strong, and Ferrari has got a good car so [we want to] come away with a good result.”