A warm and sunny day in the South of France greeted the teams and drivers taking part in the opening day of the official European Le Mans Series test. After three sessions at the Paul Ricard Circuit the Morand Racing Morgan-Judd of Natacha Gachnang, Franck Mailleux and Kajim Ajlani set the fastest lap of the day with a time of 1:48.153 around the 5.791km track.
The first session lasted four hours, with the Jota Sport Zytek-Nissan heading the time sheets at lunchtime with a time of 1:48.582, 0.4 seconds faster than the Race Performance Oreca-Judd. The fastest of the three LMPC cars was the Algarve Pro Racing Team FLM Oreca 10, 1.2 seconds faster than the nr48 Team Endurance Challenge FLM Oreca09. The nr52 Ferrari 458 was the quicker of the Ram Racing cars taking part in the test as the IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche sat out the session.
The afternoon session was inevitably quicker as the drivers and teams got used to the track and the ideal conditions. The Morand Racing Morgan took 0.4 seconds out of the best time set in the morning session, with the Jota Sport Zytek improving their best time to 1:48.231. In LMPC the tables were turned as the nr48 Team Endurance Challenge Oreca improved their best time by nearly two seconds, and were 1.1 seconds ahead of the Algarve Pro Racing Team Oreca as the chequered flag ended the three hour second session. The nr52 Ram Racing Ferrari still set the pace in LMGTE, with both the team’s cars improving on the times set in the morning.
Only five cars elected to run in the two hour night session, with Signatech Alpine Nissan setting the pace with a lap time of 1:49.377.
All the times from today’s session can be found at http://elms.alkamelsystems.com in the ‘Paul Ricard’ folder at the top of the page.
Two further sessions will take place tomorrow with the track opening at 9am for a four hour morning test, followed by three hour session beginning at 2pm.
European Le Mans Series