Learning Step by Step – Interview with Lilou Wadoux

In Richard Mille’s new WEC (World Endurance Championship) line-up this year, French driver Lilou Wadoux joins eight-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier and Reigning WEC Champion Charles Milesi in the team’s second season in WEC. Born in 2001, Lilou started karting when she was 15. Lilou competed in Alpine Elf Europa Cup in 2020 and 2021 and had her first win in the Championship in 2021 in Portimao. In the rookie test towards the end of the year, she was invited by Richard Mille Racing, leading to eventually signing with the team as part of the 2022 line-up.

In the season opener – 1000 Miles of Sebring, the team finished 15th overall and 12th in the LMP2 class. We had the opportunity to have a Q&A with Lilou before the season started, here is what she has to say about her first WEC season.

© All photos provided by Lilou Wadoux

Paddock Sorority (PS): What was your first exposure to motorsport? What made you decide you wanted to be a driver?
Lilou Wadoux (LW): My first experience was in rental go kart next to my home, I was 15 years old! Immediately I liked to drive. I decided to become a racing driver because I like the speed, the adrenaline and the competition.

PS: You’ve competed in karting before, was there ever a consideration of going into single-seaters rather than touring car? If yes, what made you decide to go with touring car?
LW: I only competed 2 races in go kart before I moved to racing car! Honestly, I don’t really think about moving to singl- seaters and it is more expensive than the touring car anyway so the choice was quite easy to take!

PS: What experience/skills from your past touring car years do you think you can leverage when competing in WEC this season?
LW: The touring car and the LMP2 are really different indeed. And sprint race is different compare to the endurance racing. I mean there is not a lot of things that we can compare..

PS: What do you think might be some of the challenges you face switching into endurance racing? How have you been preparing for the season opener?
LW: I think new challenges will be driver change, pit stop, driving with other cars around me and with different class, power, etc.. Driving with the aerodynamic car is new for me as well and I need to learn fuel saving, tire management and sharing a car with team mates!

PS: Could you tell us a bit more about your experience in Richard Mille’s rookie test?
LW: It was my first test in LMP2, everything was very new for me. Track, car, team, even the place as first time for me outside of Europe! I was impressed by the aerodynamic efficiency. But overall, test went super well and smooth and the team was happy about my performance I guess. I was surprised about the number of people in the team. Previously, I had 1 engineer and 1 mechanic in Alpine cup 🙂

PS: Could you share with us your current training schedule of a typical day or week? Are you still continuing your study? How do you juggle that and your WEC commitment?
LW: I have a schedule of sport and school, I do a BPJEPS, it’s a diploma to become monitor of driving. I practice training every day, I do cardio training, musculation and gainage to be OK in the car. The school is aware about my racing calendar and pretty flexible, which is nice.

PS: What are your expectations of this season in WEC?
LW: My expectations for this season is learning a lot and as fast as possible. But again, everything is new for me so step by step especially because it’s a 2 years program. My ultimate target is to be as fast as the top class drivers and become professional. I’m very happy to have Charles Milesi and Sébastien Ogier as team mate. We did 5 test days together and I’ve learned a lot from them already.

PS: Which race do you most look forward to on the WEC calendar (except for Le Mans 24h)?
LW: The race I’m really looking forward is Monza. I have never driven there and I’m sure in LMP2 it will be super cool & fast! Each time I saw some races on TV, I was telling to myself, I want to drive there.. with a prototype will be the cherry on the cake!

PS: What has been your best memory in your career so far?
LW: My best memory is last year in Portimao. I won the first race in Alpine Elf Europa Cup. After a difficult qualifying session, we started P5, and we won the race. I became the first woman to win an Alpine Europa Cup race and I’m really proud of it. I would like to thanks all the people around who helped me in my career so far, especially Richard Mille Racing team and Amanda Mille who believe in my racing performance!

In May, Lilou joins the team again for 6h of Spa. We wish her and the team all the best of luck!

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