Audi Sport

Loic Duval to make full-time WEC return with TDS Racing

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Former Audi LMP1 driver and 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Loic Duval will make his full-time return to the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018-19 ‘super season’ with LMP2 team TDS Racing.

Duval, 35, was part of Audi’s LMP1 line-up from 2012 until its closure at the end of the 2016 season, taking victory at Le Mans in 2013 en route to the WEC drivers’ title alongside Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen.

Duval did not return to the WEC full-time in 2016, making a one-off appearance at the season finale in Bahrain with the TDS-run G-Drive Racing team, finishing seventh in class.

TDS Racing confirmed it will race in the WEC’s LMP2 class through the 13-month ‘super season’, starting next May with the 6 Hours of Spa, and named Duval in its line-up alongside the returning Francois Perrodo and Mathieu Vaxiviere.

“I am very happy to come back to WEC and to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, alongside my Audi program, and more over I am very excited about the environment in which I will complete this,” Duval said.

“It’s a professional race team, but also a family amongst which I know that we will have fun. I would like to thank François and Matthieu for this great opportunity.

“I can’t wait to fight and compete in the LMP2 category which we have seen to be ultra competitive and I look forward to achieving our goals.”

Duval remains part of Audi’s factory driver line-up, having raced in DTM throughout 2017, and is expected to retain his drive for next season alongside his WEC commitments.

IMSA’s Bill Auberlen joins NASCAR America to discuss this weekend’s race at Lime Rock

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Turner Motorsport GTD driver Bill Auberlen joined NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder on NASCAR America Presents the Motorsports Hour Thursday to discuss a variety of topics, including Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship race at Lime Rock Park.

Auberlen, alongside co-driver Robby Foley, enters Lime Rock with a great amount of momentum after finishing on the GTD podium at Watkins Glen and taking the GTD class honors in the most recent IMSA race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

There’s also an extra incentive for the duo to win this weekend as well, as Auberlen is one win away from tying Scott Pruett for the most IMSA victories all-time.

Both drivers will have to be on their A-game this weekend, however, as Auberlen stated that Lime Rock is one of the tougher circuits on the IMSA calendar and compared the 1.5-mile Connecticut road course to a short track.

“It’s what we call the bullring of our season,” Auberlen said. “It is a 54-second lap and we’re going to go around it a million times before the end of the day. It’s going to be a hot one, and I think whoever survives this is going to be on the podium.”

Luckily for the GTD and GTLM teams, with no Protoype and LMP2 entries competing at Lime Rock this weekend, the worry of having to yield to entries from the faster classes is gone.

“These Protoypes are so fast now, that interacting with them, you can’t imagine,” Auberlen said. “We have radars in our car that can alert us when they are coming.

“They get on you so fast that if you’re not always looking or something is not telling you they’re coming, you could have a problem and catch into them. That’s gone. Now it’s going to be focus-forward. You’re going to be focused on everything ahead of you. You got GLTM in there at the same time, but they’re virtually the same speed as us – just a little bit faster.

“It’s going to be nice. When you stand on that podium you might be able to go for an overall victory.”

Live race coverage of IMSA’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBCsports.com and the NBC Sports app with an encore presentation of the race airing later in the evening at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

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