Circuit de la Sarthe
Pescarolo Team Autovision at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
A very encouraging start!
Despite a shortened qualifying session, the Pescarolo Judd n°16 driven by Emmanuel Collard, Christophe Tinseau and Julien Jousse showed promising performances on the Le Mans race track for its first outing of the week. Our LMP1 was officially timed in 3 ‘ 35.456, right behind the seven diesel prototypes but with a comfortable lead over the other gasoline LMP1.
Each team is due to improve their lap time and the difference between Henri Pescarolo’s car and the pole position is –already- close to a stunning 9 seconds gap. But both Lola-Toyota from Rebellion Racing -9th and 10th on the provisional grid- couldn’t do better than 3’ 37.404 so far.
Our lead in the virtual Gasoline LMP1 category should have been even stronger. Fifty minutes after the start of the first qualifying session, Julien Jousse was right in the middle of a fast lap with two split time announcing a low 3 ’34 but the crash of the Audi n°1 driven by Romain Dumas and the following red flag terminated our chance to improve our time. Then, Henri Pescarolo and Technical Director Claude Galopin chose to stop testing in order to fix a small puncture in the gearbox cooling system.
Wednesday night, Claude Galopin felt confident about the next qualifying sessions: “We don’t have a qualifying set-up. Since the official test Day back in April, we are solely working on an endurance set-up. All our drivers can now comfortably run long series of fast laps and tire wear is remarkably low” . Henri Pescarolo is equally confident: “During Free Practice, we already registered lap times under 3’ 35 despite heavy traffic on the track and we haven’t reached the full potential of our package. But let’s not be overenthousiastic. Lots of things can change today. Some teams may wait until the last minute to show there full potential. As to Saturday, it’s anybody’s race…”
(*Thursday qualifying sessions: from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm and from 10 pm until midnight)