Benoit TreluyerAt the height of summer, Benoit Tréluyer has been treated to a torrent of personal firsts, starting at Silverstone and continuing in Moscow. Here, he recounts a week that will be forever synonymous with victory and premieres.

The final week of August 2012 will live long in the memory of Benoit Tréluyer who, in the space of just seven days, experienced a wide range of emotions. His first visit to the legendary Silverstone circuit was a winning one, simultaneously helping Audi score their maiden FIA World Endurance Championship Manufacturers’ crown and scaling the summit of the Drivers’ standings, before the Frenchman’s week of ‘firsts’ was completed with his maiden visit to Russia.

“Honestly, I did not realise that we could claim the title for Audi so soon,” says Benoit, reflecting on seven days that will remain forever etched in his memory. “We arrived at Silverstone with one goal: victory. This title is a logical step for Audi after spending more than ten years at the pinnacle of the prototype category and scoring eleven wins – if you count Bentley’s – at the last twelve Le Mans 24 Hours. It’s also a big ‘thank you’ to Audi for everything the company has done for endurance racing. Without them, the very existence of this world championship could not have been realised. When it happened, the emotions were a little restrained due to the limited numbers of team personnel present compared to Le Mans, because we are still developing the car. It won’t be until the end of the season that we really enjoy and celebrate this title. The championship is won but we are not finished. The goal now is to win the maximum amount we can by the end of the year. Everyone remains motivated and returned from England eager for further success.”

This was Audi’s fourth win of the season following the team’s success at Sebring, Spa and Le Mans. But it was a significant one for the Alençon native who had never won for the Ingolstadt firm outside of the 24 Hours.

“It was an important step for me,” Benoit confirms. “After two victories at Le Mans it’s true that I was keen to do well at other circuits. Alongside Marcel (Fässler) and André (Lotterer) we have been unlucky at races other than the 24 Hours, but Silverstone allowed us to put that right. While luck was not on our side at Spa, it certainly was at Silverstone. I couldn’t have hoped for a better conclusion to my first visit to this legendary track. Silverstone is the type of circuit that you dream of driving around, one that combines the history and individual character you also feel at Spa, Suzuka, Monza or Monaco. I was well prepared, had practiced on the simulator so as not to waste time memorising the circuit, and was not disappointed by the magic of the place.”

After six hours the icing on Benoit’s cake was seeing his name at the head of the Drivers’ world championship, another important milestone in any racer’s career.

“I won the F3 World Cup (Macau/Korea) but I have never been in a position to lead a world championship! Obviously that’s great but we remain focused. With André and Marcel, we have come a long way since scoring so few points in the first race. To take the lead mid-season is therefore very gratifying, but we know everything can turn around quickly.”

That’s especially true after the trio nosed ahead of the other leading Audi featuring Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen. It therefore promises to be an enthralling final four rounds in the race to be crowned drivers’ champions.

“I wish that our main rivals for the drivers’ championship title were from another team, but this is the way it is. We will do everything to avoid the sort of tension that could create a situation. For the moment all is going well. We always work together so perfectly. This cohesion is also what gives Audi such strength, something we must preserve even if, as we approach this season’s conclusion, the pressure inevitably begins to rise. We must be vigilant and ensure that the competition does not disturb this harmony.”

In two weeks the Frenchman’s fight continues at another iconic circuit: Interlagos.

“I have never set foot in Brazil and cannot wait to discover the famous Sao Paulo circuit,” enthuses Benoit. “Once again we are preparing meticulously because the competition will be even higher. We are taking each race as it comes, without thinking that too much is at stake. In order to win a title you must work hard to deserve it!”

In the wake of Silverstone, the double Le Mans 24 Hours winner travelled to Moscow for the Russian media presentation of the Audi S6, S7 and S8, as well as the launch of the new R8 GT Plus. And with that the curtain was brought down on his week of firsts. Next up comes the discovery of Sao Paulo’s famous Samba dance!

To keep up to date with Benoît on and off the circuit please visit www.benoittreluyer.com, follow him on Twitter @BenoitTreluyer and like his Facebook page.