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Auto News - Asian Le Mans Series - Interview of the week : Julien Hergault - LeMans.org
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Interview of the week : Julien Hergault

15/05/2013
10h37
- Auto News
- Asian Le Mans Series

We will be sharing a weekly interview with different stakeholders involved with the upcoming 2013 Asian Le Mans Series. If you feel you have a great story to share about the Asian Le Mans Series and are interested in sharing your thoughts in an interview, please let us know.

 
  Julien Hergault with Sebastien Buemi (Toyota).

Born in Cholet, France Julien’s father first took him to Le Mans 24 Hours when he was 10, and it was the beginning of his love story with the race. He has attended Le Mans every single year since 1991, and has been a journalist since 2007, sharing his passion with the fans. He now works for Le Mans Racing Magazine and is a redactor for the Le Mans official website: www.24h-lemans.com

Question: How did you first hear about Asian Le Mans Series?

I've always been interested in Asian motorsports. When I was young, at the beginning of the nineties, I was fascinated by the Japan Championship which included a few cars that we could not see in Europe, such as the Nissan NP35. Some tracks like Fuji or Suzuka also made me dream… You always want what you do not have! Today, I continue to keep up-to-date with the various championships around the world, and I was delighted to hear our President Pierre Fillon announce the birth of the Asian Le Mans Series last year before the 24 hours of Le Mans.

Q: What do you think about the introduction of a full Asian LMS?

It's not an option… It's a necessity for Endurance Racing! After the American Le Mans Series and the European Le Mans Series, our competition needs to be in Asia. Toyota, Nissan and Mazda wrote a part of the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans... Now, they must share the magic of Le Mans with their fans. The Chinese, the Indonesian and the Korean motorsport communities are less familiar with Le Mans, but I think the spirit of this kind of race can match with their values. The world of endurance racing respects the traditions.

Q: A number of well-regarded teams, such as KCMG, have entered the series - what do you think the series means to the teams?

KCMG's guys have previous experience with Formula Nippon and Super GT300 but this will be their first endeavor in endurance racing. The series is a good opportunity for them to learn their new class. So before taking on the challenge of Le Mans, they tried their hands first in Europe at the 6 Hours of Silverstone. I think that it's a very professional approach. This team will contribute a lot to the development of the Asian LMS. It will be a great example for the other teams.

Q: Two key rules for the series are that every car requires at least one Asian driver, as well as both amateur and professional drivers. What do you think about these stipulations?

Since 1923, Le Mans has never closed the door to participation from "gentleman drivers". From Paul Newman to Patrick Dempsey, many celebrities have tried this experiment with varying degrees of success. So it's important to respect this tradition... and this is exactly what Asian LMS is doing! Following the same idea, it's good to mix Asian's drivers with their friends from Europe and America. Endurance is a discipline of cultural openness!

Q: What words of advice do you have for Asian LMS?

I would especially like to give advice to the Asian manufacturers: "You have finally the opportunity to recover your investment at Le Mans in a local series… So what are you waiting for?"

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