Rubens Barrichello relishing ‘important’ Le Mans debut

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Ex-Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello is relishing his upcoming debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, believing it to be an important step in his storied racing career.

Barrichello raced in F1 between 1993 and 2011, taking 11 race wins and finishing second in the drivers’ championship in 2002 and 2004 with Ferrari.

The Brazilian has raced in IndyCar and Brazilian Stock Cars since his F1 career ended, as well as making two starts in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, where he finished second in 2016 with Wayne Taylor Racing.

Barrichello confirmed back in February that he would be making his first Le Mans start in 2017 with Racing Team Nederland in the LMP2 class alongside Jan Lammers and Frits van Eerd.

The F1 veteran will get his first real-life taste of the Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday during the Le Mans test day, and the prospect of being part of the famous race is something he relishes.

“I watched the race on TV for such a long and time. The fact that I have done Monaco and I have done Indianapolis, I think Le Mans is something that is important to do as well as part of my career too,” Barrichello told the FIA website.

“Most important is the fact that I love what I do. When I raced in Formula 1 after 19 years, people said to me: ‘You should stop, you’ve done so much already’. But I will stop when I think I don’t love driving anymore.

“I’m doing more driving now than I did when I was in Formula 1 with Stock Cars and karting, so I am still a very competitive person.

“So the shot at Le Mans is very nice to do because I love what I do very much.”