Loeb, team manager!
The 8‐time world rally champion hadn’t really planned on taking up his duties as team manager so soon! He also hadn’t planned quitting the Portuguese Rally on Thursday evening. Since Saturday, Loeb has been in the Le Castellet 6‐Hours paddock in his role of team boss of his own squad in the European Le Mans Series.
The Alsatian arrived in the Var in the early afternoon and saw the no. 19 Oreca 03‐Nissan with Stéphane Sarrazin at the wheel taking part in its first qualifying session. The former Peugeot Sport driver set the seventh‐quickest time. A good performance considering the fact that Sébastien Loeb Racing had only taken delivery of the car a short time before the Paul Ricard event, and has not run in the official test session on 9‐10 March.
Overall the boss was fairly satisfied with the first day: “The team’s done a good job. We’re looking at the gap (2/10s in relation to the third best time) rather than the position. We’re on the pace. The results show that the team’s on the ball and Stéphane put in a good lap. It has to be remembered that it’s a grande première for the squad and that we’re all working on the car for the first time. That’s not easy to do during a race weekend. We’re going to have a good debrief to understand the car and continue getting to grips with it. We’ve got two very experienced drivers and a youngster, Nicolas Marroc, who’s holding his own. We’ve got every chance of scoring a good finish and a podium is on the cards.”
Nicolas Minassian set the third‐fastest time in the Sunday morning warm‐up proving that Sébastien Loeb Racing is making progress. It bodes well for today’s race, which starts at 12h00 and finishes at 18h00.