You will usually find Thomas Laurent behind the wheel of a Rebellion R-13 in this year’s FIA WEC Super Season. However, during this weekend’s Andros Trophy in Andorra, he swapped the fire breathing Rebellion for an electrically powered Enedis Trophy car.
Thomas, the conditions and the car you’re driving this weekend couldn’t be more different than what you’re used to. What are you first impressions?
(laughs) Well, it’s definitely not an LMP1, that’s for sure. So far, it’s been great fun and I’m also getting a better hang of the car which also shows in my lap times as they are going down. At first, I was looking for the right balance. I was taking it easy and I didn’t want to make any mistakes, but now I feel I can push a lot more.
In the LMP1, any kind of oversteer is punished by losing tenths of seconds per lap. Here, things are a lot different, how do you handle these new circumstances?
It’s funny when you realise, you’re actually spending 80% of your time in the car looking through the side windows. It’s a lot of fun, especially lining up the car before a corner and throwing it around; it’s a bit like dancing.
The conditions today, on Saturday, are very different. During this morning’s track walk, some drivers had comments because of the lack of ice. The racing line will be a lot cleaner with less sliding. Does this mean you will have an advantage?
I don’t know. There are still big patches of ice all around the track, but they could be right. Either way, it will be interesting to discover.
Lately, you’re focus is on endurance racing, these races only last a few laps. Are these races too short for a racer like you?
Yes, maybe a bit. I mean, the format is great for the audience and TV broadcasting because the races are short and filled with action packed. But, when the chequered flag dropped in yesterday’s race, I was a bit ’disappointed’ it was already over. I would’ve loved to have done some more laps.
You’re racing an electric car now, a category gaining momentum in motorsport, what’s your take on that?
Electric cars are likely going to be the future in racing, so it’s a pretty interesting experience. I’m convinced electric cars will definitely not destroy motorsport, on the contrary, but I do miss the sound. Personally, I like experiencing driving an electric car because with this championship, we’re really at the forefront of the technology. Like with a lot of things in the car industry, new technology is developed through motorsport, so getting to know the new technology in its early stages is very insightful.
© Photo Credit: Frederik Herregods