Porsche’s new recruit had fun doing his obligatory session on the simulator in view of his Le Mans comeback this year.
The new Le Mans 24-Hours (14-15 June) regulations oblige all drivers who have never raced in the event, or who have not taken part in it for the last five years (all races since 2009) to do a day’s training on a professional simulator to get to grips with the specific conditions they will have to cope with in the event itself. After a brilliant 12-year career in Formula 1, Mark Webber (215 grand prix with 9 victories, 42 top-3 finishes and 13 pole positions), is making his endurance comeback this year with Porsche. The fact he is one of the best drivers in the world doesn’t change anything, and the Australian did this course last Friday.
He enjoyed this obligatory session very much on the AOTech Company’s simulator (in partnership with the ACO), which is based in the Essonne, and devoted to the Le Mans 24-Hours circuit. “I haven’t raced at Le Mans for several years so it was a kind of update for me. This training session is a very good idea as there are specific things that you have to learn to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours. It’s important for the drivers to do this course on the simulator,” said Webber when he came out of his first working session.
The test on the simulator was only a formality for Mark, who is used to training on this type of machine identical to those used by the top LM P1 and F1 teams. He was, however, able to run through the different race conditions that the drivers will meet in June: daytime, nighttime, rain, dry weather running, identifying the marshals’ posts and also experimenting with the new slow zone system (neutralisation of a part of the circuit in the case of an incident), which will come into force this year to reduce the impact of the safety cars’ deployment.
The main aim of this obligatory training course is to raise the driver’s awareness of his environment in the race and to improve on-track safety.
The sessions on the AOTech simulator, the only one agreed by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, are continuing at this moment. A total of 17 drivers entered for the Le Mans 24 Hours have come there to do them.
Le Mans Media