Gene recieves Le mans call-up

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Marc Gene will race at Le Mans next weekend.

The former University of Buckingham student, and winner of the race in 2009, has been named as replacement for the injured Timo Bernhard in the number 3 Audi R18 Ultra for the Le Mans 24-Hour Race that takes place next weekend.

He will share driving duties in the LMP1 prototype car with French duo Romain Dumas and Loic Duval.

The trio won the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, round two of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) early last month.

Gene has raced at Le Mans five times previously as a member of the Peugeot Sport team but, after the French manufacturer’s shock decision to cancel its Le Mans programme earlier this year, Gene found himself on the sidelines.

However Timo Bernhard, one of Audi’s regular drivers was injured in an accident in the United States earlier this year and Gene was asked to join the German marque.

Winning at Spa on his debut, Gene was confirmed as a driver for the Le Mans race last week which enabled him to take part in the event Test Day on Sunday.

Clocking the third fastest time, Gene said: “I am very happy to have been asked to join Audi Sport for this famous race.

“Le Mans is one of the world’s biggest motor racing events and I have been very fortunate to win the race previously.

“I think that again I have a very good chance of victory as the Audi R18 Ultra is a very good car and I have two very good team-mates.”

In total four Audi cars are entered for the race. The ‘Silver Arrows’ filled four of the top six places on the timesheets at the end of the test.

Gene added: “Audi Sport has huge experience here at Le Mans. The team is a multiple race winner and we believe we are in good shape for another attack on the top step of the podium. Although, as we have seen before, Le Mans has a habit of not making your job easy!”

Last weekend, Brackley’s Anthony Davidson was 5th fastest for Toyota Racing with their Toyota TS 030-Hybrid.

Davidson, like Gene, another Peugeot refugee, completed the test alongside Sebastien Buemi, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima.

He said: “It was good to be back at Le Mans. We are competing with a new car and it was important to gain valuable experience here prior to qualifying.”