Lorenz Frey believes Emil Frey Lexus Racing can be a major player in this weekend’s Total 24 Hours of Spa after scoring its first overall Blancpain GT Series win at Circuit Paul Ricard last month.
Team principal Frey is relishing the underdog status of his pair of Lexus RC F GT3s, which have recently outperformed a number of larger, more experienced teams in Blancpain GT Endurance Cup rounds.
Following a difficult start to the season, the Lexus came to life with a podium finish at Silverstone before Marco Seefried, Christian Klien and Albert Costa secured the Paul Ricard 1000km victory with a daring last-lap pass.
Frey says the team is well-prepared for the challenge of Spa and reckons it has a chance of giving the Lexus RC F GT3 its first 24-hour race win.
“Winning Spa would be like winning the world championship,” he said. “It is the toughest test in GT racing.
“With so many GT3 cars on the grid, the driver lineups, and on such a special track, winning means a lot. We’re working day and night to hopefully achieve it.
“Like all races, Spa is about preparation, and we try to run through the processes.
“We have trained for a lot of procedures: installing the lights, changing the brakes when they’re very hot, running through pit stops.
“It’s important for the whole group to simulate the conditions we’ll experience at the 24 hours. For sure it’s not like the real race, but it’s really good to have this opportunity.
“We’re a private team and a 24-hour test is really costly, so we can’t do it all the time. When we have the chance, we have to make sure it pays off.”
From a drivers’ perspective, Seefried is pleased with the progress made during the official Test Day earlier this month, especially with the chance to log some wet running.
“I think we are well sorted after being able to run in mixed conditions and to see how the car handles on a very wet track and on a drying track,” he said.
“Spa is well known for this and it was good to find these changing conditions during the test, because we do not have that much experience with the Lexus in the wet yet.
“The track and the overall package plays in our hands and without suffering any major incidents we should be there with the top guys.”
Frey hasn’t become complacent after a run of promising results and is instead cautious about his chances against some of the series’ powerhouses but still believes a win is a serious possibility.
“We have to learn a lot,” he explained. “Our target is to constantly improve and not fall back and this is a big challenge for us.
“The teams with experience are the experts at 24-hour races. We’re a really young team, but we have experienced drivers who have done this race many times and won it, so this helps us.
“We’ll try to provide them with the right car so that they can do it again.”