Qualifying behind them, it's time to think about the race
The Sébastien Loeb Racing takes advantage of the last two qualifying sessions to get ready for its first participation at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Despite several red flags and a little alarm during the first session in the day time, the team has kept on working on the setup of the ORECA 03R No.24. Vincent Capillaire, Jan Charouz and René Rast once again took turns on the track, making progress time and speed wise and working mostly with the race in mind. The trio will start from the 11th place of the LM P2 class on the 2014 edition’s starting grid.
At 7:00pm, for the second of the three qualifying sessions, René Rast started out at the wheel of the No.24. He improved his previous fastest laps from the day before and reached the 8th place. He then progressed even more and achieve the 7th place on the provisional ranking, and was then the third quickest driver on the track. A first red flag came out after 45 minutes of session, then a second one after 1h26. Vincent Capillaire was in the bucket-seat at the time and had to stop near Mulsanne : after René had flirted with a wall, a ‘water’ alarm switched itself on and the team preferred not to run any risks.
Following on the previous interruptions, the session started again half an hour ahead of schedule. Vincent was in charge and drove throughout the first couple of laps before René and then Jan Charouz took over. Then Vincent came back on the track for the last couple of rounds of this final session which was highly focused on work. The team decided not to run after the clock but rather to concentrate on searching for the best setup, allowing the drivers to be fully in confidence with the car. In the end, the No.24’s crew will start from the eleventh position of the LM P2.
« Our session was marked by René’s small hit with the wall and then by the ‘water’ alarm and we therefore could focus on preparing the race only later on » explains Franck Tiné, Sporting Director. « We should have focused on pure performance in order to reach a highest position on the starting grid, but instead we have pursued our work on the car’s handling so that it can be safe and the drivers can feel secure and comfortable. We are a little disappointed regarding our fastest laps, but we are still very hopeful for our first 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team did a great job, the three drivers are committed while supporting each other. We first want to finish the race and then we will look at the final result. We are relying on an amazing exemplary mindset - which was demonstrated throughout the different unexpected issues rising up during those sessions - the consistency of our trio and the way the drivers complement each other. »
After the warm-up from 09:00am to 09:45am, the 2014 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will start at 03:00pm. René Rast will be the first one at the wheel for the kick-off of the twice around the clock in La Sarthe.