Chinese LMP2 team through tech and ready to race
KC Motorgroup Ltd (KCMG) is primed for the 82nd running of the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend after successfully completing the traditional administrative checks and scrutineering at Place de la Republique on Monday (June 9).
The Chinese LMP2 squad’s newly upgraded #47 Oreca 03R-Nissan passed the mandatory technical inspection and, after completing administrative checks, drivers Richard Bradley, Matt Howson and Alexandre Imperatori were all validated by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest to compete in the French endurance classic this Saturday and Sunday (June 14/15).
Le Pesage, as it’s known in French, was held over two days in Le Mans city centre and represents the traditional pre-event ceremony where cars undergo comprehensive examination. All drivers are also required to participate in administrative checks in order to officially enter the 24-hour race.
Hailed as world motorsport’s greatest endurance event, the Le Mans 24 Hours is the highlight of KCMG Motorsport Division’s 2014 calendar. And following the successful shakedown of its updated blue and white Oreca during last week’s official Test Day, the team is now all set to challenge for LMP2 class honours 12 months after becoming the first Chinese squad ever to compete at Circuit de la Sarthe.
KCMG’s week-long programme continues with free practice and first qualifying on Wednesday evening (June 11), before the second and third qualifying sessions take place on Thursday afternoon and night (June 12). They’re followed on Friday (June 13) by the traditional Drivers’ Parade through downtown Le Mans. The 82nd edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours begins at 15:00 local time on Saturday (June 14) and continues until the chequered flag falls at the same time the following day.
Richard Bradley: “Following our productive test last week, I’m confident of a good result this coming weekend and believe that we have the capability to succeed with the team and car. Anything can happen over 24 hours, but KCMG are ready. This will be my Le Mans debut and I’m really looking forward to it. So far, the experience has been amazing and I’m very eager to get in the car for some real track action on this legendary circuit!”
Matt Howson: “The pre-race test was very encouraging for us and the Oreca-Dunlop package performs better than what we had last year. But as is often the case last weekend’s Test Day raised more questions than answers! We’ll have more laps with which to fine-tune the car for the 24 Hours and have a clear plan for qualifying, so there should be answers to all our questions before race day. But so far the team is generally feeling very optimistic!”
Alexandre Imperatori: “Following the official test last week, the team is quite confident that we have a strong package. Currently, we’re in the process of fine-tuning the car a little bit more, but we have a programme that should put us at the front of the field come Saturday and Sunday. We were at the Pesage yesterday, which sets the tone for the rest of the week. So far, the atmosphere has been incredible! The entire team is really looking forward to the race and, personally, I can’t wait to be back on the track!”
Paul Ip, KCMG Managing Director: “After all the planning and preparations by everyone involved in this campaign, we are once again back at Le Mans to compete in one of the world’s biggest motorsport events. The results from the pre-race test last week have been very encouraging so we can head in to qualifying and the race with confidence. We are happy to have passed all the mandatory procedures that allow us to compete in the race. The team is also once again very proud to be representing China at Le Mans.”