Andre Lotterer has spoken of his sadness in the loss of Audi at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours but is determined to represent his former manufacturer as part of his new Porsche role.

The three-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner has competed at the iconic endurance event for Audi for every year since 2009 but for 2017 has switched to Porsche after Audi's dramatic exit from the World Endurance championship.

While Lotterer admits the perfectionist side of him took time to adapt to extracting maximum performance from the 919 Hybrid having spent the best part of a decade with the four-ringed manufacturer, the emotions are still raw which have been intensified returning to Le Mans for the first time without Audi.

"I think it is the same for everybody, it is a big difference, I think what Audi did here in the last 20 years was huge in regards to their input," Lotterer said. "Not just cars and drivers but also marketing side, the whole set-up at Le Mans was really big so I think for a lot of people who don't see Audi here they need to get used to that.

"It is more for me because I was part of the team and lucky enough to experience that great era with a great relationship with my team-mates.

"The human relationships that I have built up over the last seven or eight years with that team, so now I need to turn the page on that chapter. The technical side and driving side you look to the future but I would be lying if I didn't say that I missed them because they were a great bunch of people."

Lotterer also touched on 'the car that never was', the updated Audi R18 E-Tron LMP1 car, and how disappointed the Audi engineers were at seeing such a huge project binned as part of the reaction to 'Dieselgate' the emissions scandal which heavily hit its parent company and revenues.

"Benoit [Treluyer] is not here competing and I'm sure he is quite sad about it as will be a lot of engineers at Audi who are very sad seeing everyone at Le Mans," he said. "They prepared the car, the car that never was, and they will follow the race so I will try to carry their spirit and do well for them."

 

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