Pierre Ehret Faces Fifth Le Mans 24 Hours

Pierre Ehret returns to the Le Mans 24 Hours this week looking to maintain what must be one of the best finishing records of any competitor in the GT2 category. Three podiums from four starts is a fine achievement and one that any driver would be pleased to list on their CV, but Pierre has every chance of adding to those impressive statistics in 2009.

German-born Pierre joins a truly international squad at Team Modena for the Le Mans 24 Hours this coming weekend, sharing the team’s #84 Ferrari F430 GTC with Russian racer Roman Rusinov and Leo Mansell, son of F1 World Champion Nigel. “This is a very interesting challenge for us,” admits Pierre. “We’re a fully amateur crew trying to achieve something very special here at Le Mans, but we are fortunate to be facing that challenge with a team that is 100 percent professional.”

Pierre Ehret is part-way through the 2009 Le Mans Series season, where he co-drives the #90 Farnbacher Racing Ferrari 430 GTC with Dominik Farnbacher and Anthony Beltoise. He has fin ished fourth in both the first two races, including the last round at Spa, where Pierre completed a two-and-a-half hour stint en route to the flag. “I thought fourth seemed a good result for an amateur!” joked Pierre. When only one of Farnbacher’s two entries for this month’s Le Mans was accepted, Pierre had to look elsewhere if he was to maintain his unbroken string of appearances at La Sarthe circuit. “The opportunity to race here with Team Modena came up about two months ago, and I was more than happy to take up that offer,” he said.

As part of their preparation for Le Mans, Pierre and Leo Mansell took part in an extensive test at the new Algarve circuit in southern Portugal about five weeks ago, just before the Spa 1000 Kilometres. Team Modena’s regular professional driver Antonio Garcia, who transfers to the Corvette factory team this week at Le Mans, assisted at the test, as did fellow professional Brazilian Jaime Melo, who competes with Risi Competitzione in the 24 Hours. “The Algarve circuit is a fabulous venue, and the perfect track for me to work with Team Modena for the first time, and to meet Leo,” suggested Pierre.

Ehret is now looking forward to the first session of free practice later this evening, Wednesday. “I just love it here at Le Mans. It’s such a great track, and after my experiences with them in the Algarve, I’m really looking forward to racing here with Team Modena. They are such an inspiring, wholly professional and well-organised team, and they have a very impressive record,” he says. The team has certainly instilled Pierre with confidence for their prospects in this year’s 24 Hours. “I feel it is important to approach a race like this with a team in which you have total confidence, and I have that in Team Modena. If we can stay out of trouble, they will allow us to push hard, and still get us to the finish.”

Free practice on Wednesday is followed by qualifying on Thursday evening. The race starts at 15:00 (CET) on Saturday afternoon.

Pierre Ehret’s Le Mans R ecord:

2005: 19th overall, 6th GT2, with Team Sebah (Lars Eric Nielsen and Thorkild Thyrring)
2006: 16th overall, 2nd GT2, with Seikel Engineering (Dominik Farnbacher and Lars Eric Nielsen)
2007: 21st overall, 3rd GT2, with Autorlando (Lars Eric Nielsen and Allan Simonsen)
2008: 23rd overall, 3rd GT2, with Farnbacher Racing (Pierre Kaffer and Lars Eric Nielsen)

Pierre Ehret’s Sponsors:
The Flamingo Resort and Spa in Santa Rosa is the only premier resort hotel in the Sonoma County Wine Country of northern California, and has sponsored Pierre throughout all his Le Mans appearan ces. The Resort, with its mix of classic 1950s charm and top-class contemporary amenities, is the perfect location for exploring California’s leading wine-producing regions.

Louisa’s Place is a supremely elegant five-star hotel in downtown Berlin, situated on the famous Kurfuerstendamm, or “Ku’damm”, and a favoured haunt of art, society and culture in Berlin for more than a century. Forty-seven tastefully appointed apartments offer the perfect home-from-home accommodation right at the heart of Germany’s capital city.

The Ehret Winery is a family-run estate in Sonoma County, California produ cing some of the region’s finest quality wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. Wines are produced using AVA (American Viticultural Area ) appellation grapes grown exclusively on the family-owned Bavarian Lion Vineyards in Knight's Valley, California. The Sonoma County and Nappa Valley regions are among America's premier wine-producing areas.