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Ingolstadt, April 24, 2003

He drove his first race in the Sarthe in 1953, he won the long distance classic in 1960, and since then, as journalist and commentator has not missed a single year in France: Paul Frère is a institution at Le Mans. The 80th anniversary of the race and 50 years of Frère at Le Mans are reason for a quiet an unusual appointment for AUDI AG. Paul Frère will get the opportunity during the pre-test on May 4 to drive the most successful Le Mans sports car of the modern era: the Audi R8.

The 86-year-old Belgian is considered one of the world’s most senior and distinguished motoring journalists and works today, among others, as European correspondent for the American magazine “Road & Track”. Paul Frère celebrated his greatest successes as a racing driver in the 1950s and 1960s. The 24 Hours of Le Mans has always been particularly fascinating to him: “My victory in 1960 was obviously a very special experience,“ he remembers. “But even today Le Mans is still a fantastic race.”

Paul Frère witnessed AUDI AG’s three consecutive victories with the R8 in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002 as a journalist. “Over the last few years Audi was unrivalled. I am really looking forward to the test with the Audi R8. It will be interesting to get know the race winning car of recent years and the current Le Mans track layout better.”

“It doesn’t really happen very often that we allow a journalist to get behind the wheel of one of our sports cars,” said Head of Audi Sport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. “We are happy to make an exception for Paul Frère and his anniversary. There is not a single person who knows the 24 Hours of Le Mans as intimately as he does. He will be just as impressed by the Audi R8 as our drivers.”

Although AUDI AG planned no works campaigns for the 2003 motorsport season, three Audi R8 sports cars will line up on the grid at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, entered by the Audi customer teams Arena, Champion and Goh.

24h Le Mans
:: Practice
:: Practice
:: Practice
:: Qualifying
:: Practice
:: The Race

Paul Frère
Paul Frere & Oliver Gendebien