Name: Benoit Fraylon
Birthday: 17 May, 1984
Luxury Car: The Ferrari F40 LM because she’s much more radical, exclusive and exciting than the intense Road legal F40.
Sports: Motorsport of course, otherwise i’m a big fan of Moto GP and basketball.
Racedrivers: Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna are my favorites of all times.
My Favorite track : Spa Francorschamps is definitely my favorite track.
Watch: The Richard Mille RM 11-02 Flyblack Chronograph Jet Black Limited is by far my favorite, it’s really outstanding.
Travel: To an unknown racetrack !
Benoit, you are the creative director of W Motors… what does it mean?
As a creative director i work with designers, engineers and marketers to create a vision for our creations and oversee the creative process and report to Ralph R Debbas Chairman & CEO of W Motors.
How do you became a car designer?
I began drawing as a child, my parent’s were also creative people like artist painter and musician. I wasn’t very proactive in class… in fact i had more racecar drawings in my books instead of taking notes. I wanted to be car designer very young. i did my first exposition of artworks at 16 years old. Followed by a french baccalaureate in Art Applied then a Product Design Formation in France i moved to England to obtain my Automotive Degree at The School of Arts of Coventry University.
When a new car is first sketched, …what is the most important?
Well obviously we design supercars, so everything as to be somehow stunning about it – it’s radical. Car companies have to find their own path and their own design DNA, brand philosophies and brand values, and then show them in terms of aesthetic and design. The playground is tight but very interesting.
What are the steps after the scales and the sketches?
Quite a lot of steps to get from a rough sketch to an actual car. But when you froze the overall design you have to face the reality of making the car road legal. You need to compromised with the engineers team and regulations. This second step of making the car in 3D helps you to refined the shapes and tools you will used for the production alongside the feasibility study. In the meantime you render the car in real environment to check the reflections and how it will look in real life. Normally in a supercar process you would find hyper-processed shapes, with lots of details – it’s very beautiful but it’s very complicated to put them together brings an atmosphere of ‘high-end’
What are your all-time favourite non-Wmotors car designs?
That’s a tricky question… Again i will mentioned the prancing horse with the unique 250 GTO, this car is so unique, for me this is the Mona Lisa of Automotive Design.
What is a typical day in the life of a car design creative director?
I believe same as the people who work for their passion. #EatSleepCreateRepeat all of this surrounded by cars : ) More seriously it depends of the work load and deadlines you need to achieve. But here in Dubai days are more likely enjoyable. Specially when you work with very talented creative peoples, days goes fast. I am so blessed to be able to make a living in the automotive industry and to fulfill my childhood dream.
What inspires you and your team when you set about a new car to design?
Every new design is born out of the desire of a roaring beast (Wolf) within to draw from its roughness something truly refined. We spend countless hours of finding the most exquisite yet aggressive line to make our new creation standing out in the automotive world.
You are a racedriver too…..
More like a gentleman driver… I was born in Le Mans at the clinic of ”Tertre Rouge” a few hundreds meters from the corner of the same name who precede the Mulsanne straight of the famous Circuit de la Sarthe. Well known for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. My grandad and dad are former mechanics so no wonder why i’ve been beaten so young. Some say i’m a speed junkie… But i’ve started quite late… my first race in go-kart was back in 2003.
What is the car you have had the most fun while driving? Race or street car?
The Nascar Whelen Euro Series was one of my favorite drive with 400 HP old school drive with no assistance, this car made me feel like Cole Trickle in ”Day of Thunder”.
Regarding street legal car the Lykan HyperSport is the one i will pick without hesitation. She’s got so much torque that it will brighten your day. She’s so agile on cornering and braking.
At what point did you know racing was going to be more than just a hobby for you?
I wish i could have made a leaving from Racing. But it’s a tough world, even if your good, you need first to have sponsors. Actually i’ve made my class in Go-kart racing in Europe, learned a lot in UK. Then i went to car racing in lower category. In 2011 i was lucky to have the status of Semi-pro meaning you don’t pay for driving which is already an achievement and less stress on the grid.
Most of the people don’t know how much financial supports you need to be a professional racedriver.
Who is your favorite childhood race car driver?
Maybe someone who inspired you to want to be a driver too. Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna are my number one inspirations as a F1 fan.
When you were younger did you do any other sports?
I’ve played a lot other sports, Football, Basketball, volleyball. I more into team sports. Like for endurance racing, you need this team spirit even if at the end of the day your alone on the car.
Could you give some racing tips?
Learn the basics on many aspects of racing like the weather conditions, with Slicks tires under the rain. But also understand the type of car you’re driving, like rear wheel drive, braking points, traction control, etc. It gives you the confidences needed, specially in the traffic, because in higher categories, mistakes can be very costly. Besides all of this Never Give Up until the checkered flag.
Who’s been the most influential person in your racing career?
My best friend Seb Leroy he’s this person, i met him on a racetrack in Le Mans. We had the best souvenirs together especially our first win of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Open Kart in 2008 then we won in 2011/2015/2016. He was always there like a brother no matter what he always believed in me. Racers are lucky enough to have two families. One they’re born into and the other they gain at the track, this quote resume perfectly what this guy mean to me.
Are there certain techniques you have used to develop your racing skills or do you just have natural ability?
Well… the Playstation ! ; ) Now you have simulator who can gives you some good training when you arrived on a track you don’t know. Simulation is getting so accurate that is help a lot for training. Otherwise experience come with the time you spend on the track.
What do you like to do when you’re not racing?
If i may i will quote my favorite actor on this one :
“Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.” ? Steve McQueen
Describe your best experience?
So far my best experience was back in the UK when i was representing my University for the British University Karting Championship. I have learned a lot with tough competitors, great battles, racing with slick tires even when it was raining like hell.
We use to have 115cc 2-stroke TKM-Extreme engine paste on Birel-chassis karts who are capable of accelerating from 5 to 60mph in 4.5s and can achieve top speeds of 70mph.
Who are the sportsmen or sportswoman’s you admire the most?
There is one man who stand out and is also a friend. Frederic Sausset who picked up a severe infection from a small scratch resulting in the amputation of both hands and his legs from above the knees. He dreamed of running Le Mans and he made it last year in LMP2 “to give his new life a purpose.” Chapeau Bas.
What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
Hopefully people will find it captivating and let the youngster dream about it so if that’s coming out through the work I’m happy.
What is your aim this year in racing?
The aim is to get back for a full season in the Radical Middle East championship, testing a new GT and take a step further to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a near future.
Define KLASSIK MAGAZINE for the audience?
Trend, Classy, Delightful
Racing & Emotion
W Motors – Dubai