Sebring 12 Hours
Team ORECA-Matmut : Between discovery and work…
Back at Sebring for the first time since 2000, the team completed its first two days of testing in Florida with the No. 10 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.
The long week of the 12 Hours of Sebring, the first round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and ALMS, began with two fruitful test days. Four sessions, ten hours of track time, and numerous laps completed by Nicolas Lapierre, Loïc Duval and Olivier Panis. Driving the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, carrying a special message “I Love U.S. Racing,” the three men discovered the Florida track for the first time and began set-up work for their car.
“We determined several objectives for these tests and we attained a good number of them,” explains David Floury, Technical Director. “The first of which was to accumulate mileage to allow the drivers to learn the track and gain as much data as possible. That has been done. However, in terms of the car’s handling and laptimes, which are of course not totally representative, we admit that we aren’t quite where we wanted to be. There are several reasons for this. For example, the track – and temperature – evolves very quickly and the teams that have experience here can better deal with this variable. For us, we are still in learning mode and we are exploring different configurations. That’s also the goal of these tests.”
The Team ORECA-Matmut will now debrief during the rest day, a Wednesday that will be important in preparing for the rest of the week, as confirmed by David Floury: “We have to establish a good plan of action. We came here to face a new challenge. It’s exciting. It’s up to us to put everything in place to meet this challenge and move up the order. In any case, we are very happy to be here: we wanted to come here for a while and it’s a pleasure to back in the USA.”
Olivier Panis, like his teammates Nicolas Lapierre and Loïc Duval, is happy to be racing on American soil. “Sebring is an unusual track, but with a lot of charm. It’s very different from what I’ve experienced. There are bumps – we were expecting this – and the traffic is difficult to negociate…but I like the track, especially the quick sections.”
The Team ORECA-Matmut driver has now turned his attention to the rest of the week. “We’ve found our marks on the track and tried different solutions. We now start a new phase with a new approach. The learning phase is over: we are entering into the real race weekend.”
The official practice sessions will begin Thursday, March 16 at 10:15 a.m. (3:15 p.m. in France).
-source: team oreca-matmut