Nurburgring: Swiss Spirit qualifying report

SWISS SPIRIT PROVES PACE WITH TOP FIVE QUALIFYING AT THE NURBURGRING The Swiss Spirit team today proved that it is a serious contender for the 2006 Le Mans Series championship, when Marcel Fassler set the fifth fastest time (1min 46.133sec) in...

SWISS SPIRIT PROVES PACE WITH TOP FIVE QUALIFYING AT THE NURBURGRING

The Swiss Spirit team today proved that it is a serious contender for the 2006 Le Mans Series championship, when Marcel Fassler set the fifth fastest time (1min 46.133sec) in qualifying for tomorrow's 1000km of Nurburgring. The third round of the Le Mans Series comes less than a month after the team's strong performance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans at La Sarthe, in the LMP1 category.

Team Manager Serge Saulnier, was delighted with the performance of the team and its two drivers: "We have done a good job today and I am pleased with our qualifying time. It was difficult for Marcel, as we could only do a few laps during the second 90-minute practice session. The hour we lost, while we checked the gearbox, prevented us from improving the balance of the car and running new tyres before the qualifying session. Marcel was forced to drive with new tyres for the first time in qualifying and this is never easy.

"We are extremely encouraged to be just 0.1sec off the third fastest time," continued Saulnier, "and we have never been so close to the Pescarolo car, only 0.6sec off their best lap time. This is the closest gap since the beginning of the season and I am confident that, had we not lost precious running during the second practice session, Marcel would have qualified in the top three."

Marcel Fassler was also pleased with his qualifying time: "Today was tough! With only twenty minutes to qualify the car, I could not make any mistakes. Following the problem we had at the beginning of the second practice session, I tried new tyres for the first time in qualifying. However, this is not the best way to build your confidence with the car! In the end, it went well; the balance was good and we have performed well. I am annoyed that we are not in the top three -- that is where we should have been! But we lost a lot of laps today and it was important I avoided any mistakes. Tomorrow's race will be challenging and it will be important to find a good rhythm and look after the tyres. It's very easy to damage them quickly at the Nurburgring, if you work them too hard."

Marcel's team-mate Harold Primat is also looking forward to the race tomorrow: "Well done Marcel - P5 is a strong result for us and given the limited amount of laps we did today, it confirms that we are very competitive. I am even surprised by how close we are to Pescarolo, they have much more experience than us. Being so close is great news and I hope this will continue in the race tomorrow. We have a good set-up and the car is very driveable. It will be crucial to stay out of trouble with the traffic, be patient, stay on the racing line to avoid the marbles and avoid contact with slower cars. We definitely have the potential for a good result."

-www.saulnierracing.com

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Marcel Fassler , Harold Primat , Serge Saulnier