Hexis Aston leads the way The silence of the surrounding areas of the Paul Ricard racing circuit was broken this morning as round four of the FIA GT1 World Championship began with Free Practice brilliant sunshine. The circuit, which celebrates...
Hexis Aston leads the way
The silence of the surrounding areas of the Paul Ricard racing circuit was broken this morning as round four of the FIA GT1 World Championship began with Free Practice brilliant sunshine. The circuit, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, offered up a technically challenging but rewarding session for the drivers.
The No.9 Hexis Aston Martin of Thomas Accary and Fred Makowiecki topped the lap timings with a time of 2.05.565.
The second spot went to Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter in the No.22 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R posting 2.07.266. The No.24 Retier Lamborghini of Peter Kox and Christopher Hasse came in third.
Paul Ricard Free Practice: What the drivers say
Frederic Makowiecki , Hexis Aston Martin No.9
"We had a good feeling with the car during the first session. We worked mainly on tyres and trying to get consistency with the balance which we will need for the race distances.
"We have done a lot of test work here during the winter so we know the track well. We have taken some lessons from that testing and also what we learned about the car in race trim in Brno and we are pleased with where we are at.
"Our team headquarters is not far from Paul Ricard. Let's hope that home advantage is good to us."
Warren Hughes, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.22
"The race is going to be all about good tyre management in this heat so that's what we focussed on during Free Practice.
"I like the track. There are a number of areas where you can really get your teeth into it and there are others where you can't afford to hussle the car too much so it's a good test of driving skill."
Jamie Campbell-Walter, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.22
"We have lost the success ballast we had at Brno so at least we are not starting on the back foot here. We should be more competitive. We have set a good baseline to work from for the next session and hopefully set ourselves up nicely for the Qualifying and Championship Races."
Olivier Panis, Matech Competition Ford GT No.6
"I'm very happy to be involved in the Championship. It's very well set up. I like the way it's structured. It's good fun.
"My first impressions of the car were very good. I think it has very good potential. We have a bit of understeer which we need to tune out but basically we are on course with the set up.
"As for sharing the car with Natacha, this is the first time I have driven with a woman in my career. She is very keen to learn and I hope I can pass on some of my experience to her over the weekend."