Test thoughts from LeMans test It was 10 hours of testing on the schedule but in reality competitors at Le Mans got in limited meaningful laps during Sunday’s Test Day for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The American Le Mans Series contingent, 41 drivers strong, did themselves well on a damp and dreary circuit that didn’t really allow for meaningful test programs. Nevertheless, it’s still Le Mans and it’s still one of the biggest thrills and challenges in motorsport.
Chris McMurry, Autocon Motorsports
Creation CA07-Judd (LMP1)
“We put an engine in that came back from Judd and it has been leaking oil. It was giving us problems at Sebring so it’s not fixed. We were trying to get our 10 laps in. We will switch our engines here in the next few days. Judd has seen I think only two engines fail here at Le Mans so it’s a remarkable thing.
“Mike (Lewis) runs a great team and it's nice to be partnered up with the Creation guys this week. That will help a lot. Most of the teams are focusing on getting their laps in this week. Next week will be different anyway...we hope.”
Romain Dumas, Pescarolo Sport
“It’s very good to be with this team again. This year will be more difficult. Our target is to be the first of the diesels. We have a good car, good balance. But it (was) very difficult with the rain coming and going.
Marco Werner, Audi Sport North America
Audi R10 TDI (LMP1)
“Although in the rain and in changing conditions we were able to sort and try many things, we’d have preferred driving on a dry track for a longer period of time. I think that the results we saw on the times monitor do not truly reflect the situation yet. But, in any event, we’ve still got a lot of work to do during the race week.”
Sascha Maassen, Team Essex
Porsche RS Spyder (LMP2)
“This car was built for the American circuits. We are running a new aero package for the longer straights. I would like to see what the car can do in dry conditions.
“For me, every single lap of this pre-test was important. Up to now I’ve always competed on Michelin tires so I had to familiarize myself with the Dunlops. The car reacts a bit differently with them. In this respect, we had hoped for better test conditions in order to work more intensively on the set-up. But we are satisfied with what we have achieved today. And to be 1.5 seconds slower than the fastest over 13 kilometers is peanuts."
David Brabham, Aston Martin Racing
Aston Martin DBR9 (GT1)
“We weren’t expecting any real surprises from the test day, and luckily that turned out to be the case. I drove a lot of the race last year in the wet – including the very last stint – so it all felt quite familiar! I think everyone’s test program was compromised by the weather today, but my personal goal was just to get used to the car again after a year out of it and I succeeded in that objective. Although we waited a bit I was still one of the first drivers out, so the track was extremely green and slippery – but it was all useful running.”
Ron Fellows, Corvette Racing
|No. 64 Corvette|
Corvette C6.R (GT1)
“The track conditions were changing rapidly, but we got some good data on the rain tires. Michelin has brought several combinations and it was quite useful. At the end of the morning session the wind picked up and the track was drying quickly and I made the wrong call for the tires – it was time for slicks. In the race condition we certainly would have gone that direction, but we were being a little conservative.”
Oliver Gavin, Corvette Racing
Corvette C6.R (GT1)
“We did run through some wet, intermediate and slick tires that Michelin supplied to us, so it's good to get that experience. I’m delighted to be back at Le Mans, exorcising some of the demons that we had last year when we had that driveshaft failure. It's nice to be back out there, doing laps and getting back into it. It’s a wonderful circuit, and Max, Olivier and I love driving here. We’re focused and really want to get on with things.”
Jan Magnussen, Corvette Racing
Corvette C6.R (GT1)
“In the few laps that I got in when there was a dry line, the feeling in the car was very good. Our lap time would have dropped immensely when the track came to us, and I don't think we would have had much difficulty running quicker times. Straight out of the box, the car is the best it's ever been.”
Gianmaria Bruni, Risi Competizione
Ferrari F430 GT (GT2)
“I like the circuit, it’s very nice. Unfortunately it was damp, wet and dry on the track while I was out there so we didn’t get a chance to push much, but it was OK. The track does feel very long, compared to what I’m used to, especially on the Mulsanne, but I’m getting accustomed to it!”
The 76th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans runs from 9 a.m. ET (3 p.m. local time) June 14 to 9 a.m. ET June 15 from the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France. Forty-one drivers will be representing the American Le Mans Series, whose teams have captured seven overall victories and 22 class championships since 1999. SPEED will televise the event live, and Radio Le Mans will have flag-to-flag coverage of the race as well as practice and qualifying on June 11 and 12.