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Spa-Francorchamps circuit

Larbre Competition fastest at Le Mans Test Day

Larbre Competition’s preparations for next month’s Le Mans 24 Hours (June 11/12) continued at the French circuit on April 24 where the team’s #50 Corvette C6-ZR1 topped the GTE A class times in both morning and afternoon sessions.

Their official partnership with GM Racing saw Jack Leconte’s outfit run factory drivers Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta, as well as integrating a selection of American team engineers, at the event’s official Test Day.

Jean Todt and Hiroshi Yasukawa
Jean Todt and Hiroshi Yasukawa

On the other side of the garage, Larbre Competition’s second entry – a Porsche 997 GT3 RSR driven by Christophe Bourret, Pascal Gibon and Jean-Philippe Belloc – completed an excellent day for the team by ending up third and second fastest of the morning and afternoon GTE A class runners.

Patrick Bornhauser: “Due to prior commitments racing at the second French GT championship round at Nogaro over the Easter weekend, I travelled to the Le Mans 24 Hours Test Day by plane so I could be back in time for Sunday night’s start. I met Julien Canal on arrival and headed straight for the garage where we met the works Corvette team who were using our car for testing. Having had a good look round, I saw it was equipped with numerous sensors that allowed the Corvette engineers to analyse the car’s performance in detail. By the end of the morning, I think it was ready for the Le Mans 24 Hours.”

Julien Canal: “For me, it was very interesting to see my race car in a different capacity to that of driver. Despite the frustration I felt – seeing all my competitors and friends drive was quite difficult – I, along with Larbre Competition, was able to observe a different technical way of working. This Franco-American operation worked in perfect harmony and enjoyed great team spirit. I also spoke with Olivier Gavin, Jan Magnussen and Olivier Beretta with whom I exchanged details about the Corvette. It was very constructive.”

Douglas Fehan, Corvette Racing Programme Manager: “I’d just like to thank Larbre Competition for all their support at the Le Mans Test Day. We could not have participated without their help and cooperation. The team was very professional and worked very hard during the entire event. Hopefully, what we learnt will help us both in the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans and all ensuing races. In addition, I enjoyed meeting Jack’s wife. She did a wonderful job of feeding all the team. It was ‘tres bon!’”

Jack Leconte, Larbre Competition Team Owner: “As early as our first year of activity with GM Racing, Larbre Competition, which has built up an enviable reputation over the past decade, was invited to become an integral part of the manufacturer’s 2011 ILMC development programme.

“Last February we were invited to a joint track test at Sebring so our drivers could familiarise themselves with the new C6-ZR1, before all our technical staff spent two weeks in New Hudson, MI, acquiring the skills and data needed to maintain the Corvette.

“In addition to this, and in view of our Le Mans experience, we quickly established a contract to support the works team for its Le Mans 24 Hours preparation. Dual cooperation was established by both companies on the technical, human and financial sides in order to exploit in the best possible way the date of the Test Day which could have created logistical problems with the Long Beach ALMS race and Nogaro GT Tour round.

“The operation was a complete success as numerous elements have been verified and validated, all of which should aid our challenge come June during the twice-round-the-clock enduro.

“Larbre’s staff are already well integrated within the Corvette family just three months after first arriving. I am very satisfied by this partnership with one of the three biggest car manufacturers on the planet. All that remains is to obtain results on the track, something Larbre is continually committed to achieving. Indeed, we head to the Ardennes this weekend hopeful of doing just that.”

Larbre Competition enters the second round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup this weekend at the famous circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. The #50 Corvette C6-ZR1’s crew, as during the 12 Hours of Sebring and six remaining ILMC rounds, is composed of Patrick Bornhauser, Julien Canal and Gabriele Gardel.

-source: Larbre Competition

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Series ELMS
Tags belgium, christophe bourret, corvette, jean-philippe belloc, pascal gibon