FASSLER AND PETER QUALIFY TO JOIN PRIMAT FOR LE MANS 24 HOURS
Swiss Spirit team drivers, Marcel Fassler and Philipp Peter successfully drove the ten mandatory test laps required at Le Mans to qualify for the famous 24 Hour endurance race taking place on 17th and 18th June.
Fassler and Peter can now 'officially' join team mate Harold Primat who had already qualified for the race having competed last year.
Sunday's run on the famous 13.5km La Sarthe circuit was a special milestone for the still very new team which has been created specifically to represent Switzerland at this special event and to put a Swiss driver back on the podium for the first time in thirty years.
Despite having only been in existence since the winter, the ambitious young outfit has already made a splash in their debut season with an impressive pole position and second place finish in the Spa 1000kms, round two of the Le Mans Series.
Although slightly beset by small mechanical problems at Sunday's test, the team enjoyed the moment as their Judd-powered, Michelin-shod, Courage LC70 ventured onto the hallowed Le Mans circuit for the first time.
Race engineer Nicola Scimeca said: "It's really nice to finally be here after all this time, but really we all know that the job is only just beginning. Our number one objective for Sunday was to qualify Marcel and Philipp. It is a shame that we could not do the number of laps we had originally planned for the day, but we did achieve our main target. In the afternoon we had an issue with the gearbox which we now understand and will be solved for next week. It was not also easy for us as we had Marcel who knew the car but not the circuit and Philipp who knew the circuit but just had a few laps in the car during a shake down at Lurcy Levy at the end of last week. I am sorry for Harold who knew both the car and the circuit but following the issues with the gearbox he was only able to drive a couple of laps, which I am sure is frustrating for him. We will now rebuild the car for next week, have a shake down and then come back for scrutineering on Tuesday morning and the qualifying sessions on Wednesday and Friday."
Harold Primat said: "I am delighted for Marcel and Peter, they are now officially in for Le Mans. It was a frustrating day for me -- I only drove one and a half laps this afternoon, but this is a team effort and I would rather have problems today during the official test than next week during qualifying. All in all we are delighted to be here. Swiss Spirit is still a new team but we are progressing each time we run the car and I hope that we will be able to show our true potential next week."
Marcel Fassler: "Today started well for me, I was the first to drive the car and I did the ten mandatory laps in order to participate in the race. It sounds silly but you are always nervous that something might happen and you fail to complete the necessary laps -- as some drivers did today. It is a shame regarding the gearbox -- we lost some time, but the car was good to drive and we had a good balance like we had in Spa. The circuit is really wonderful! I love the long straights and the high-speed corners. The track is not difficult to learn but you have to brake very late from very high speed parts and it takes time before you get your marks right."
Philipp Peter: "First of all I would like to thank the Swiss Spirit team for giving me this opportunity to drive at Le Mans with them. I am pleased I was able to qualify for the race, and I can't wait for next week. It's always a great feeling to be back here in Le Mans, the speed you travel at is always amazing!"