The test day didn’t go exactly as planned for the crew of the #33 OAK Racing Team Asia Ligier JS P2-HPD.
Running for the first time after 3 days of initial testing at Magny Cours, the #33 OAK Racing Team Asia Ligier JS P2-HPD, running on Michelin tyres and supported by Onroak Automotive, took to the track at the famous Circuit de La Sarthe today for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Test Day, with the Chinese trio of David Cheng, Adderly Fong, and Ho-Pin Tung sharing the wheel.
The test day didn’t go exactly as planned for the crew of the #33 OAK Racing Team Asia Ligier JS P2-HPD, as after 15 laps out on track, the Ligier had to pull off at Arnage, and got taken back to the pits to repair a problem with the clutch. Ho Pin Tung had started the session, setting the car’s best time that morning with a lap of 3.52.232, the 17th of the LM P2 cars, and David Cheng managed to set enough laps in the session to qualify for the race. But once the car pulled off, Adderly Fong had to wait for the afternoon to set his laps once the car was repaired. The problem meant that they lost out on some valuable track time to get the drivers used to the new car and the track.
An hour and a half into the afternoon session, the #33 OAK Racing Team Asia Ligier JS P2-HPS was repaired and managed to rejoin the session, with Adderly Fong getting in the car straightaway to set his mandatory ten laps.
Once their quotas fulfilled, the team carried on running the car, working on the setup and giving the drivers as much practice as possible. Ho Pin Tung set a few laps towards the end of the day, to help ensure the setup of the car was what they wanted at Le Mans. He also set the best time of the afternoon for the #33, with a lap of 3:45.260, and although they were slowest of the LM P2 cars once more, the team is pleased with the laps they managed to run.
Adderly Fong – “We had a bit of difficulty with the gearbox today. On the out lap, we suffered a bit of an issue with the clutch, which meant that I couldn’t complete the out lap. The main focus in the afternoon was to complete the ten qualifying laps I needed to do for the race. That’s out of the way, so I’m very happy now I’ve done ten laps on the legendary Le Mans circuit.”
Ho Pin Tung – “We had a few issues with the car today unfortunately. The main goal for today was to get David and Adderly qualified for the race with their mandatory ten laps, and that was fine. I just went out to check the balance and see that everything is fine. Not much work for me today.”
David Cheng – “The key point of today was to first get my mandatory ten laps - that was important. For me it was quite easy. I went out there and tried to be safe, not taking any risks to do my ten laps. I came in and handed over to Adderly, and unfortunately, we had a clutch failure, a little mechanical problem, but the OAK Racing team did a great job putting the new clutch back in, although we did lose about one full session. All we were trying to do by the end of the day was to get Adderly his 10 laps. Overall, we’ve learnt quite a bit from today, though we would’ve loved to do a bit more mileage with this new Ligier car, especially with this HPD Motor, as we were trying to break in the motor and the gearbox. Everything is responding quite well and we’re testing our new Michelin tyres, and how long we can run on our Total fuel. It’s been a positive day and I think the team learnt a lot from this.”
Jacques Nicolet – “It’s been a set-up day for the #33. The whole team has been working hard. We were a bit behind on the car already, so it’s been a full day of work, with a gearbox problem to solve as well. All the drivers who needed to do their ten laps made them. I think that there is still some work to be done to perfect the setup of the car, but the car is going well, so everything is good for the moment.”