Alex Prémat is revved up to return to his motorsport roots this weekend, as the DTM arrives on French soil at Le Mans, where the 26-year-old made his car racing debut eight years ago.
The Audi Sport Team Phoenix star may have only scored on two occasions during the course of his sophomore campaign in the leading pan-European tin-top series thus far in 2008 – at Mugello back in May and in Barcelona last time out, the latter yielding an encouraging sixth place – but having not had the opportunity to compete in front of his home fans in the DTM last year, he is clearly keen to add to that tally this weekend.
“A home race is always something very special,” he acknowledged, “and don't forget I'll be with the DTM for the first time at Le Mans. I'm very happy to race in my homeland, and it really is my home track because I started my motorsport career there.
“I competed in Formula Campus there at the beginning of my career and have scored many excellent results. We were also at Le Mans with the F3 Euroseries, and I'm a big fan of the Bugatti circuit.
“The first part is identical to the track used by the legendary 24-hour race – you'll also sense the atmosphere in this part of the facility during the DTM race. This is then followed by several very tight corners on the way back to the start-finish.
“I think you'll see plenty of exciting overtaking manoeuvres in the Chapelle corner and into the double-right. It's also possible in the corners in the final sector. Even though I've never driven with the DTM car there, I don't expect it to be so difficult. The track is actually quite untypical compared to the other tracks found on the DTM calendar, and certainly not as technical as many other tracks.”
Though the DTM may not have visited Le Mans in 2007, Prémat does have recent experience of the legendary venue, having accompanied team-mate Mike 'Rocky' Rockenfeller and American Le Mans Series star Lucas Luhr aboard the #3 Audi R10 TDi that took the chequered flag fourth at the end of the iconic 24 Heures
back in June.
“It's not the first time [I've been there] with Audi,” the former GP2 Series and A1GP World Cup of Motorsport race-winner explained, “since I've already competed in the 24-hour race there and I have many fans in France for whom the race at La Sarthe is the closest track.
“I hope it's popular with the French public. I'll give 200 per cent to win points for the championship. This would be fantastic in a year-old car.”