Team ORECA-Matmut Petit Le Mans qualifying report

Team ORECA-Matmut press release

Team ORECA-Matmut in the Top 5…

The team reached its goal during qualifying : be in the top 5 with the two Peugeot 908s and two Audi R18s.

Nicolas Lapierre, Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gené are satisfied with the work done and with the handling of the No. 10 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.

#10 Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 HDi FAP: Nicolas Lapierre, Nicolas Minassian, Marc Gene
#10 Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 HDi FAP: Nicolas Lapierre, Nicolas Minassian, Marc Gene

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Two years after their last visit, Team ORECA-Matmut was happy to return to Road Atlanta, where the Petit Le Mans race will be held on Saturday. The No. 10 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, carrying a message « Thank You Fans, » completed its first laps on Wednesday in the hands of Nicolas Lapierre and two Peugeot Sport drivers, Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gené. The trio used the several practice sessions to prepare for the race, which will be hotly contested with over fifty cars on track.

Driving together for the first time, Nicolas Lapierre, Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gené didn’t take long to find the right rhythm. Starting with the first test session, the three men wasted no time reaching the top 5 in running order. Throughout the sessions, they never let go of fifth place, behind the two factory Peugeot 908s and two Audi R18s. After using the first few laps to find their marks, the three men set out to dial in the car. Progressing step by step, first with the aero balance, then tyres, they found a set up that fit them and the car. It’s an important element of a race that will be contested on a busy track where incidents are frequent – numerous red flags in the practice sessions confirm it.

Nicolas Lapierre solidified the good work by signing the fifth fastest time (1.09.777). « I didn’t have a clear laps, but we’re at about the right level., » he said. « One of our objectives was to start tomorrow’s race in that position. The various practices were positive. We were always going in the right direction and we have a good car that’s easy to drive. The tyres are also doing well. With Nicolas and Marc, we form a good team that’s uniform. I’m looking forward to the start . It’s going to be an elimination race : we’ll have to avoid incidents to have a good result. »

David Floury, Technical Director, recaps before the race : « So far, everything is going well. We started running on Wednesday so we concentrated on the essentials. The changes brought to the car by the team were good : we have a good car for a long race. We have to get to the finish, without committing errors and realising a perfect strategy. That’s our mission. The race, which will be contested at all levels, will decide the rest. The intergration of Nicolas (Minassian) and Marc (Gené) was very quick. They are superb drivers and it’s a pleasure to work with them. With Nico’ (Lapierre), we really have a good driving squad. »

The start of the Petit Le Mans is this Saturday at 11 :30 am (local time).

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Series ALMS
Tags gene, lapierre, matmut, minassian, oreca, peugeot

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