Tuesday, November 30

Dream end of Hörr’s perfect year

Things can’t go any better for Laurents Hörr at the moment: the 24-year-old not only won the title in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) in the LMP3 category, but also smelled a Ferrari GTE car in Bahrain . He was one of two invited drivers who were allowed to take part in the rookie test of the World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Until recently, it was not clear whether Hörr would drive a Porsche or a Ferrari in Bahrain. Ultimately, the choice fell on the Ferrari 488 GTE from AF Corse, no problem for Hörr, who has already gained his first GT experience in a Cup Porsche. Compared to ‘Motorsport-Total.com’ he says: “I think the Ferrari is a bit calmer in terms of driving style [als den Porsche].”

The Italian team AF Corse then let Hörr unleashed on the track and even made sure that he was allowed to drive “more than my 30 laps”. “I was of course very grateful to AF Corse,” said the racing driver from Stuttgart. “You didn’t have to do that. You wanted to do that because it was interesting for you to see what it is like to work with me.”

Lap times not representative

However, the lap times in Bahrain cannot be trusted, as other drivers under Hörr’s name have burned lap times into the asphalt in live timing. The 24-year-old himself didn’t focus on the performance on the track, but wanted to get used to the car. “You can say relatively little about the lap time,” he says. “The track was actually a lot slower, according to the Ferrari engineers.”

“I didn’t drive all the time with new tires, little fuel and full attack,” continued Hörr. “Instead, AF Corse deliberately let me drive in race pace and they were very happy with my long runs. Of course, it was new for me. I didn’t know the car and I didn’t know the track either.”

Although Hörr only had four laps in the morning to find his way around the track, he acclimatized “extremely quickly” in the car. “I think my first timed lap was two seconds slower than what should have come out, which is very close for the first timed lap,” sums up the ELMS LMP3 champion, who is happy about his consistency.

ELMS title the door opener?

But what will happen next for Hörr in the future? In the LMP3 category of the ELMS, he won the title together with DKR Engineering and Mathieu de Barbuat as teammates in 2021. The German would like to prove himself in prototype sport in the future and hopes one day to get a chance in an LMH or LMDh program – the spearhead of the WEC and American IMSA series.

“Now after the Portimao race we had two more days to test in Portugal,” said Hörr. “I also drove the LMP2 on one of them. Of course, in preparation for next year in cooperation with DKR. I did drive the Duqueine car again, but in cooperation with DKR.”

“The current plan is of course to drive Le Mans,” said Hörr, who has an invitation to Le Mans in his pocket thanks to the LMP3 championship victory. “We have the entry, we will definitely make the race. In addition, we actually want to drive the ELMS in the LMP2.”

This is how Hörr became ELMS champion

The 2021 season has shown how much talent the German has in the prototype. After a difficult start to the season in Barcelona and Spielberg, he and his team really turned it up. Hörr won the races in Le Castellet, Monza, Spa and Portimao and rounded off a strong season that was rewarded with the title.

“In fact, it was an interesting topic that preoccupied me a bit before the race, because of course we were only second in the table before the last race,” said Hörr. “If someone had told me after last season that I would be second next year, I would have accepted it with open arms.”

“Before the last race it was more like this: To finish second now, I couldn’t accept that. I have to win this thing now,” said the 24-year-old into his emotional world. “So, from that point of view, the goal of winning the championship actually developed at some point in the season.”

First the damper, then the breakthrough

“The first two races were a catastrophe,” explains Hörr, who with fifth and eighth place in Spain and Austria did not deliver any top performances. “After that, it really just went uphill at full throttle.” At the final in Portugal, the title was decided between DKR and Cool Racing. The latter, however, had a bad starting position and were thrown out of the title race after a slow stop.

Hörr and de Barbuat gave everything and secured the LMP3 title with their victory. “In principle, we designed everything from the team only for the race and of course as drivers we went in a little more cautiously because we knew of course: As soon as we drop out or have an accident, we’ll be out,” remembers Hörr. “So we designed the whole car for the long haul and in the end we drove very well with it.”

With the ELMS-LMP3 title in his pocket, Hörr is now looking to the next challenges in his still young career: His plan is to establish himself in prototype racing and to show what in the LMP2 car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans he can. The GTE test in Bahrain gave him further important experience that he will use in the 2022 season for the next step in his career.


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