Conclusive first day for the ORECA 03…
Alexandre Prémat, David Hallyday and Dominik Kraihamer ran lap after lap in order to get comfortable with the Sarthe circuit.
The #48 ORECA 03 from Team ORECA-Matmut signs the third fastest time in LMP2 in the first qualifying session.
The first day of practice and qualifying on the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit was aimed at continuity for the Team ORECA-Matmut and their ORECA 03. In order to perfectly prepare for the race, Alexandre Prémat, David Hallyday and Dominik Kraihamer accumulated kilometres in the car. They completed their program for the day, ending the day in the top three of the LMP2 class.
After Alexandre Prémat completed the first few laps, David Hallyday and Dominik Kraihamer shared the car during the rest of the free practice. David is making his return to Le Mans in a prototype while Dominik is making his first appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans aside from Formula Le Mans. The three drivers followed their established test plan without encountering any issues, and the problem-free running continued during the first qualifying session.
“This first day was positive,” confides Alexandre Prémat. “One of the objectives was to work on the settings. We are headed in the right direction. We eliminated a few small imperfections. We can still progress a bit, but the car is already excellent and easy to drive. That’s what we need. We could have gone searching for a fast time, but that’s not the goal. These sessions were more of a starting point.”
For David Hallyday, the return to the Le Mans legend went “very well.” “As I imagined, you need a little time to find you marks. I’m upping the pace gradually. On this track you expect speed…It’s really quick! I also rediscovered the traffic. The LMP1 are faster and the GT are slower…you have to manage this, which isn’t easy. My two stints in daylight were great. I gathered a lot of knowledge today and I will continue this on Thursday.”
“The ORECA 03 is a new car, the drivers are discovering it, and they are either making their return, or debuting at the Le Mans track ,” explains Hugues de Chaunac. “The planned objective was to manage these different points. This is what the drivers did. We told them not to take any risks. We know that the car is strong but it’s at the end of the 24 Hours that we will have to be there. Having all three of the ORECA 03s in the top five is satisfying.”
Qualifying continues Thursday with two session of two hours each starting at 7 p.m.