|The No. 17 Porsche driven by Hartley turned the fastest lap|
23,000 spectators came to the Le Mans circuit today Sunday to follow the Test Day, the general rehearsal for the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours on 14-15 June. The Porsche 919s, which were already very quick during the first two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship, topped the time sheets with a slight advantage over Audi followed by Toyota. In LM P2 the OAK Racing Ligier set the quickest time by a whisker from Alpine and Oreca. In LM GTE Pro and GTE Am Aston Martin dominated their rivals.
Sunday morning at 09h00 on the dot the lights went green unleashing the 64 cars taking part in the Test Day.
Kazuki Nakajima in the no. 1 Toyota, pole setter in 2014, was the first man to set a benchmark time in 3m 40sec on his first flying lap. On a dry track the Audi R 18 e-tron quattros and the Porsche 919 Hybrids soon hit back and swapped fastest times in succession. At 09h15 Andre Lotterer, winner of the 2014 race, put in several quick laps in the 3m 22-sec bracket before he was beaten by Neel Jani who lowered the benchmark by almost a second in the no. 18 Porsche 919 Hybrid in a time of 3m 21.946sec. The arrival of the rain put a sudden end to the battle for the fastest time in the first part of the test day. The morning session was neutralized twice. Once because of the no. 22 Nissan GTR-LM Nismo, which had to be moved from a dangerous position after it stopped under the Dunlop Footbridge, and secondly due to a puncture on the no. 4 privateer CLK/LM01 driven by Tiago Monteiro, which lost some body elements between Mulsanne and Arnage.
On its return to the blue-riband category Nissan tackled the 13,629 km Le Mans 24-Hours circuit with three of its amazing Nissan GTR-LM Nismos. No. 21 finished in the morning at the circuit was the last of the LM P1s to take to the track at 10 h 30. Frenchman Olivier Pla set the best time in one of the front-engined prototypes in 3m43.383sec after which the Nissan team had to cope with the inevitable teething trouble on its first real confrontation with its rivals. The second privateer team at the test day, Rebellion Racing, also ran into a few glitches with its new Rebellion R-Ones which were running at Le Mans powered by their new AER turbo engine for the first time.
At 14:00 when the track was dry again the Porsche and Audi drivers went at it hammer and tongs and lowered their times. Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard’s team-mate, set the fastest lap of the day in the no. 17 Porsche Hybrid in 3m21.061sec, better than the 2014 pole position set by Nakajima in 3m21.789sec. It began to rain again preventing any further improvements. Into second came another Porsche, no. 18 in the hands of Neel Jani making it a Porsche one, two, and only Marco Bonanomi’s performance in the morning in the no. 9 Audi prevented a Stuttgart triple as he beat Tandy in no. 19! Then came the other two Audis nos 7 and 8 a few tenths behind. The Toyotas were a couple of seconds further back and their times were not really representative of the reigning world champions taking into account the difficult weather conditions today.
In the LM P2 category the no. 34 Ligier JS P2 entered by OAK Racing and driven by Belgian Laurens Vanthor, making his Le Mans debut after a great career in GT racing, was quickest after a lap in 3m41.919sec in the morning. The HPD-engined car finished just in front of Paul Loup Chatin’s Alpine A450b who was again the quickest driver in the Signatech-Alpine squad. Into third came another Oreca, no. 48 entered by Irish team Murphy Prototypes. Among the newcomers in this hotly-disputed category, the Strakka Racing Dome S103 was two seconds off the time of the quickest in front of the Russian BR01s entered by SMP Racing, the fastest of which was five seconds slower per lap.
As usual the gaps were tiny in the LM GTE Pro category in which the no.97 works Aston Martin beat the works no. 64 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R by less than a tenth of a second. Behind them, the two works Ferrari and Porsches were neck and neck with the no. 51 458 Italia in front of the no. 91 911 RSR and idem for the no. 71 Ferrari and the no. 91 Porsche. The two Aston Martins, nos 99 and 95, were on level pegging in front of the second works Corvette no. 63, which was last in GTE Pro. The eagerly-awaited four-handed battle will take place in the blue riband GT category!
In LM GTE Am, the no. 98 Aston Martin of Mathias Lauda, Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana entered by Aston Martin Racing was quickest thanks to a time of 3m59.338sec set by Lamy. He beat four Ferraris, nos 61, 55, 72 and 66. The no. 53 SRT Viper put on a great performance matching the pace of the no. 50 Larbre Competition Corvette C7.R.
During the test day the new Slow Zone and neutralization procedures with or without safety cars on the track depending on the race circumstances were tested on several occasions. The 56 cars in the Le Mans 24 Hours will now enter the home straight before the start on Saturday 13th June. An ultimate fettling in session is scheduled on Tuesday 2nd June on the Bugatti circuit for which 14 cars have entered so far.
Since Friday the spectators have been able to walk up the pit lane, discover the pits and get close to the teams to see them making the final adjustments before the Test Day.
Today 23,000 came to see the general rehearsal for the Le Mans 24 Hours despite the rain which fell on the circuit.
The next event for the Le Mans 24-Hours week are: Sunday 7 and Monday 8 June, scrutineering on Place de la Republique, followed by the two free practice and qualifying sessions on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 June and then the start of the race on Saturday 13th June at 15h00.
|1||LMP1-H||T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley, F.Makowiecki||Porsche Team||Porsche||3m21.061s|
|2||LMP1-H||N.Hulkenberg, E.Bamber, N.Tandy, F.Makowiecki||Porsche Team||Porsche||3m22.322s|
|3||LMP1-H||M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi||3m22.556s|
|4||LMP1-H||L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi||3m23.002s|
|5||LMP1-H||R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb, F.Makowiecki||Porsche Team||Porsche||3m23.179s|
|6||LMP1-H||F.Albuquerque, M.Bonanomi, R.Rast||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi||3m23.375s|
|7||LMP1-H||A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima, K.Kobayashi||Toyota Racing||Toyota||3m25.321s|
|8||LMP1-H||A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, M.Conway||Toyota Racing||Toyota||3m30.334s|
|9||LMP1||N.Prost, M.Beche, N.Heidfeld||Rebellion Racing||Rebellion/AER||3m33.958s|
|10||LMP1||A.Imperatori, D.Kraihamer, D.Abt||Rebellion Racing||Rebellion/AER||3m42.144s|
|11||LMP2||K.Chandhok, M.Patterson, N.Berthon||Murphy Prototypes||ORECA/Nissan||3m42.405s|
|12||LMP2||P.Thiriet, T.Gommendy, L.Badey||Thiriet by TDS Racing||ORECA/Nissan||3m43.344s|
|13||LMP2||S.Dolan, M.Evans, O.Turvey||JOTA||Gibson/Nissan||3m43.359s|
|14||LMP2||R.Rusinov, J.Canal, S.Bird||G-Drive Racing||Ligier/Nissan||3m44.452s|
|15||LMP2||N.Panciatici, P-L.Chatin, V.Capillaire||Signatech Alpine||Alpine/Nissan||3m44.567s|
|16||LMP2||N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane||Strakka Racing||Dome/Nissan||3m45.536s|
|17||LMP2||L.Roussel, D.Cheng, H-Pin Tung||Pegasus Racing||Morgan/Nissan||3m46.384s|
|18||LMP2||M.Howson, R.Bradley, N.Lapierre||KCMG||ORECA/Nissan||3m47.015s|
|19||LMP2||G.Yacaman, L.Derani, R.Gonzalez||G-Drive Racing||Ligier/Nissan||3m47.058s|
|20||LMP2||P.Ragues, O.Webb, Z.Amberg||Team SARD Morand||Morgan/SARD||3m47.088s|
|21||LMP2||G.Hirsch, B.Wirdheim, J.Lancaster, G.Paletou||Greaves Motorsport||Gibson/Nissan||3m47.130s|
|22||LMP2||P.Perret, I.Bellarosa, J.Ibanez||Ibanez Racing||ORECA/Nissan||3m47.198s|
|23||LMP2||T.Krohn, N.Jonsson||Krohn Racing||Ligier/Judd||3m47.251s|
|24||LMP2||M.Mediani, D.Markozov, N.Minassian||SMP Racing||BR Engineering/Nissan||3m47.827s|
|25||LMP2||S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, D.Hansson||Extreme Speed Motorsports||Ligier/HPD||3m47.943s|
|26||LMP2||E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, J.Fogarty||Extreme Speed Motorsports||Ligier/HPD||3m49.382s|
|27||LMP1-H||H.Tincknell, M.Krumm, A.Buncombe||Nissan Motorsports||Nissan||3m50.713s|
|28||LMP2||M.Aleshin, K.Ladygin, A.Ladygin||SMP Racing||BR Engineering/Nissan||3m55.213s|
|29||LMP1-H||O.Pla, J.Mardenborough, M.Chilton||Nissan Motorsports||Nissan||3m55.695s|
|30||LMP1-H||T.Matsuda, M.Shulzhitskiy, L.Ordonez||Nissan Motorsports||Nissan||3m57.567s|
|31||GTE Pro||D.Turner, S.Mucke, R.Bell||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||3m58.069s|
|32||LMP3||L.Tomlinson, C.Robertson, C.Hoy||Team LNT||Ginetta/Nissan||3m58.308s|
|33||GTE Pro||O.Gavin, T.Milner, J.Taylor||Corvette Racing||Chevrolet||3m59.159s|
|34||GTE Am||P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||3m59.338s|
|35||GTE Pro||D.Rigon, J.Calado, O.Beretta||AF Corse||Ferrari||3m59.420s|
|36||GTE Pro||G.Bruni, T.Vilander, G.Fisichella||AF Corse||Ferrari||3m59.546s|
|37||GTE Pro||R.Lietz, M.Christensen, J.Bergmeister, S.Muller||Porsche Team Manthey||Porsche||4m00.272s|
|38||GTE Pro||M.Sorensen, C.Nygaard, N.Thiim||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||4m00.316s|
|39||GTE Pro||F.Rees, A.MacDowall, R.Stanaway||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||4m00.325s|
|40||GTE Pro||P.Pilet, F.Makowiecki, W.Henzler, S.Muller||Porsche Team Manthey||Porsche||4m01.066s|
|41||GTE Am||M.Wainwright, A.Carroll, P.Keen||Gulf Racing UK||Porsche||4m01.208s|
|42||GTE Am||D.Cameron, M.Griffin, A.Mortimer||AF Corse||Ferrari||4m01.221s|
|43||GTE Am||A.Al Faisal, K.Giermaziak, M.Avenatti||JMW Motorsport||Ferrari||4m02.212s|
|44||GTE Am||V.Shaitar, A.Bertolini, A.Basov||SMP Racing||Ferrari||4m02.325s|
|45||GTE Am||J.Bleekemolen, B.Keating, M.Miller||Riley Motorsports-Ti Auto||SRT/Dodge||4m02.499s|
|46||GTE Am||P.Perazzini, M.Cioci||AF Corse||Ferrari||4m02.732s|
|47||GTE Am||G.Roda, P.Ruberti, K.Poulsen||Larbre Competition||Chevrolet||4m02.856s|
|48||GTE Am||F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas||AF Corse||Ferrari||4m02.994s|
|49||GTE Am||B.Sweedler, T.Bell, J.Segal||Scuderia Corsa||Ferrari||4m03.117s|
|50||GTE Pro||J.Magnussen, A.Garcia, R.Briscoe||Corvette Racing||Chevrolet||4m03.775s|
|51||GTE Am||R.Goethe, S.Hall, F.Castellacci||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||4m04.354s|
|52||GTE Am||H.C.Chen, G.Vannelet, M.Parisy||Team AAI||Porsche||4m04.491s|
|53||GTE Am||C.Ried, K.Al Qubaisi, K.Bachler||Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing||Porsche||4m04.756s|
|54||GTE Am||P.Dempsey, P.Long, M.Seefried||Dempsey Racing – Proton||Porsche||4m05.813s|
|55||GTE Am||J.Laursen, M.Mac, A.Rizzoli||Formula Racing||Ferrari||4m07.257s|
|56||GTE Am||J.San Chen, A.Kapadia, X.Maassen||Team AAI||Porsche||4m07.378s|
|57||LMP3||M.Chilton, T.Matsuda, A.Buncombe||Team LNT||Ginetta/Nissan||4m08.002s|
|58||LMP2||Y.Yamagishi, P.Perret, J.Ibanez, S.Raffin||Ibanez Racing||ORECA/Nissan||4m08.462s|
|59||GTE Am||P.Mann, R.Giammaria, M.Cressoni||AF Corse||Ferrari||4m12.191s|
|60||LMP2||T.Fujii, S.Hoshino, C.Klien||KCMG||ORECA/Judd||4m14.106s|
|61||GTE Am||Y.Mallegol, J-M.Bachelier, H.Blank, E.Mouez||AF Corse||Ferrari||4m21.492s|
|62||LMP2||J.Nicolet, J-M.Merlin, E.Maris||Oak Racing||Ligier/HPD||4m21.842s|
|63||LMP2||C.Cumming, L.Vanthoor||Oak Racing||Ligier/HPD||4m26.356s|
|64||LMP1||S.Trummer, P.Kaffer, T.Monteiro||Team ByKolles||CLM/AER||–|