Rob Leupen: “The launch of Audi has left a vacuum”

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Engine.it was present in the 6 Hours of Silverstone thanks to Toyota Spain and had the great opportunity to interview Rob Leupen, vice-president of Toyota Motorsport and Director of Financial Operations department of a sports brand. Throughout the talk with Leupen, manager of the firm, analyzed the demands of the WEC, the fact that you have a third LMP1 and different aspects around the timeliness of the contest. an Extract of the first part of the interview with Rob Leupen.

– Toyota will have three LMP1 for the first time. What is the biggest challenge?

Rob Leupen: “The biggest challenge is not to build them, is to integrate them into the team due to logistics. We need more people to coordinate the team. All in all, the main problem is the coordination during the race, carry out the strategy”.

– ¿What do you think about the output of Audi competition?

RL: “it is Not good, but it is your decision. Now it’s a tough battle between us and the Porch. We look forward to the coming of strong brands. There is nothing decided, we don’t know anything, but it would be good for Audi to find a replacement. We always had a good relationship with the team from Audi, so I’ll miss. The launch of Audi has left a void“.

– ¿As you manage it the kits aerodynamic?

RL: According to the regulations you can only carry two charging kits. At Silverstone we have the ‘high downforce package’, and another for the high-speed corners. We have decided not to bring the ‘low downforce’ because we believe that it is not adapted so well to this track. We hope to get more and better information to improve the kits, and be more prepared. Our point of view is that we have always followed this scheme and is the best option to have success“.

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– ¿you Will notice much difference between the kits aerodynamic?

RL: “Maybe. It is difficult to say the level of ‘downforce’ Porsche, there is no way to measure it. But this is a track where there are many high-speed corners, that’s why you need to have pressure in the car and you can regulate with the kit ‘high downforce’. You can see this clearly because we are going 1.3 seconds faster than the cars that carry ‘low downforce’. That is the main factor of performance“.

– ¿It has changed the strategy with respect to last year?

RL: has Not changed the strategy, if not a small part. The strategy that was implemented last year was a success. We were leading the race for a long time. Breakdowns are part of motor racing but we’ve done a good job with this car. The only problem that had happened in the last 5 minutes of Le Mans. This is the life”.

– there has been much talk of the ‘Balance of Performance’ automated by the AWG. Do you see a need to use something similar in LMP1?

RL: “No. I Think we have a good ‘Balance of Performance’, which is worked very well with the diesel, but maybe we will change something, I’m not sure. It is well regulated, it gives us a good chance of show all the technology Toyot from the point of view of the high performance of the race car. We can use it in a very attractive, athletic, emotional. I think that this has been done very well.”