Donington Park, April 13 2001 - Chrysler Team ORECA qualified on the second row on its race debut, the first round of the European Le Mans Series at Donington Park, England. Olivier Beretta recorded fourth fastest time in the Mopar-powered...
Donington Park, April 13 2001 - Chrysler Team ORECA qualified on the second row on its race debut, the first round of the European Le Mans Series at Donington Park, England. Olivier Beretta recorded fourth fastest time in the Mopar-powered Chrysler LMP that he shares with four-time Le Mans winner Yannick Dalmas.
Beretta posted fastest time in the opening stages of qualifying, trading fastest laps with the customer Audi R8 of Stefan Johansson, but a half-spin on his third flying lap ruined any chance of beating the Gulf-backed car.
"I am really disappointed not to have beaten one of the Audis in qualifying after being so close all weekend," said Beretta. "The new Mopar engine is performing better than we could have hoped and fourth position is fantastic for the team. This is the first time that we have run the Chrysler LMP in these conditions and we have proved to be faster than some of the more developed cars."
The Monegasque lapped the 4.02km track in a time of 1m22.721s to line up behind the three Audi R8s on the grid for tomorrow's race. "It was a good performance on the first public appearance against the other competitors," said ORECA Team Director Hugues de Chaunac. "We are happy with the work done in only 10 weeks since we showed the car in Barcelona. We have shown that we are competitive and that we are the best cars behind the developed Audis.
"We are confident that we know the potential that we have. The main problem is the time that we have left before Le Mans. In conclusion it is great for all involved and gives us all a high motivation for Le Mans. We now have to look to the race tomorrow, though I think our form so far has given everyone a lot of encouragement."