He is the 24 Hour Man. Michele Beretta will challenge for honours in three 24 Hour races within a month. He will race in some of the races that represent the dream of every driver, beginning with the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Michele earned the 24 Hours of Le Mans start thanks to the wonderful result he took in the ELMS, at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GTE.

Later, on 26 and 27 of September, Michele will take the wheel of the Team Phoenix Racing’s Audi R8 for the 24 Hours ADAC Total of Nordschleife Nürburgring.

This sequence of incredible races will be completed by the third 24 Hours, at Spa-Francorchamps (24 and 25 October).

Michele, can you tell us how the chance to run the legendary (there isn’t other adjective to define it) 24 Hours of Le Mans?
Le Mans was one of the goals that we gave ourselves. For this reason, we pointed the programme towards the ELMS with the team Proton Competition, in order to gain experience with a skilled team and to insert the race in the programme in the future. The excellent result and the harmony established with the team have accelerated the timeplan, so the team offered me the chance to race the 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2020 edition. Obviously I agreed with joy and I am preparing for my debut in this dream race.

What is the preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans? We know that you have a valuable experience with endurance races, although you are young. You have already challenged at Daytona and in the 24 Hours of Spa four times. Without forgetting the third place at the Bathurst 12 Hour at the beginning of the season.
Specifically, I had a training session with the simulator organized by ACO, the Le Mans’ promoter, where I had the chance to learn the track and I had to face some situations that could happen during the race. Safety cars, full course yellow, slow zone, and also varying grip conditions. Nothing particularly different from what I had to face in last year’s GT races, but we don’t have to take anything for granted, especially when we talk about Le Mans.

Speaking of your experience, what does it suggest to you approaching Le Mans?
My best friend and I have followed Le Mans glued to the television for years, from the first to the last hour, or at least as long as we could keep our eyes open. Now I am glad to race in the most prestigious endurance all around the world, as well as I am proud of what I’ve done so far. This is my first sensation.

To tackle the weekend on the right foot, it will be important to get to the first practice session and run regularly for the first three to four laps, and immediately establish the right references on the track. This will allow me to have the necessary mental serenity. It won’t be important to record impressive lap times, but it will be essential to take the right pace easily. I know that to do a good job, I have to be consistent and make no mistakes. This makes the difference in this kind of race. Other things to pay attention to? There are many, for example we will have to keep an eye on the presence of cars that have different performance. LMP1 and P2 are faster than Gt and we have to be careful to let them overtake and don’t waste time, or even worse to cause damage. This situation is repeated continuously, during the day and the night.

Do you have a target for your first Le Mans?
Finishing the race is my first goal. Looking at the entry list, I read important names and I have to say that in the GT am category there are strong drivers that will make the race absorbing and of the highest level. Although I have only three races behind me with this car, I think I have learn enough about the Porsche, so much so that we are first in the ELMS GTE championship. I make no secret that it is the most beautiful car I’ve ever driven. The team is well-prepared, Proton Competition has a perfect organization and knows very well the race. There are all the conditions to make a great race.

Le Mans will be a great emotion, an unforgettable round, but as soon as you are finished with the Porsche 911 RSR #78, you will have to launch mentally and physically towards Nordschleife, leaving the Porsche behind and get on the Phoenix Racing team’s Audi R8 (team-mates Kim Luis Schramm, Joules Gounon and Frank Stippler). The Sunday after Le Mans, you will attend the 24 Hours ADAC Total of Nordschleife Nürburgring (24-27 September 2020).
I will live next two weeks on my motorhome, I will go to Le Mans and then to Nürburgring to challenge two unforgettable competitions, very different and two fantastic tracks. They will be two fantastic weeks and I want to enjoy them completely.

This year you got on the podium at the Bathurst 12 Hour, then you stood out in the VLN and in the ELMS, where you are the leader. Despite this, the call for Le Mans came a little off the schedule. Were you taken by surprise?
I am ready. As I said, I raced four times the 24 Hours of Spa and once at Daytona. Moreover, I have a good experience with Gt cars.  The only thing I’m sorry is that for my first 24 Hours of Le Mans there won’t be spectators. If you get to race many times at Le Mans, you probably you don’t care about it, but for my first time I will miss the parade and the spectators. When I will get in the car, the only thing that will be important for me will be the race and I will enjoy everything.

After Le Mans you will go to Nürburgring, but there are other surprises. In fact, at the end of October (24 and 25) you will be again on track for another prestigious race, the 24 Hours of Spa. In this competition you will run with the HRT Haupt Racing team’s Mercedes AMG GT, the car with whom you got on the podium in Australia, in the Bathurst 12 Hours.
This is the race I feel more confident with because I’ve already raced it with the Lamborghini. At Spa and Nürburgring the Gt cars will be the fastest and the drivers have to take on the overtaking always looking forward, contrary to what will happen at Le Mans. Here we have to look the rear-view mirrors to control the LMP and overtake the slower Gt cars. This is one of the points that are different in these three 24 Hours races.