PRIMAT IMPRESSES ON COMPETITIVE RALLY DEBUT Sports car racer Harold Primat enjoyed an impressive competitive rally debut on the Z-Trofen event in Northern Sweden at the weekend. The Aston Martin works driver, who finished fourth in the Le Mans...
PRIMAT IMPRESSES ON COMPETITIVE RALLY DEBUT
Sports car racer Harold Primat enjoyed an impressive competitive rally debut on the Z-Trofen event in Northern Sweden at the weekend.
The Aston Martin works driver, who finished fourth in the Le Mans Series and was a race winner in the Asian Le Mans Series last season, drove a Group N Subaru Impreza in the snow and ice rally. He was co-driven by Staffan Parmander, who scored numerous WRC victories alongside Kenneth Eriksson in the 1990s, and produced a strong performance in the single-day event, including a second-in-class finish on the final stage.
Primat used the rally, which forms part of the Swedish SuperCup series, to prepare for a 2010 season that will see him competing in races in the Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series as well as at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
"It was a great experience for me and I learned a lot," said the Geneva-based Primat. "I've always had an interest in rallying and the event was good for my fitness and to keep me race sharp.
"When you drive 160km/h in the snow, with a snow bank on either side, it is an amazing experience and great for your reflexes. You have to put a lot of faith in your co-driver and, as the stages are so long, it helps with your endurance, as you have to keep your concentration non-stop. It is also a real skill to focus on your driving while listening to the pace notes."
Parmander admitted that he was impressed by Primat's performance, particularly considering his lack of rallying experience and the difficulty of the event.
"The biggest challenge was to get to the finish because conditions were very difficult and it was Harold's first experience of this type of event," he said. "I thought he did a great job and he should be proud of what is a major achievement. He did exactly what I wanted him to do, which was to start sensibly and then get quicker and quicker as he went along."
Parmander worked with Harold last season during a pre-season training camp in Scandinavia, and he believes Primat's experience on the Z-Trofen will stand him in good stead for the new season.
"The objective of training in Sweden is to improve car control and concentration," Parmander said. Ice training is a very good way to improve driving skills."
Harold will return to the more familiar surroundings of circuit racing next month, when he lines up for Aston Martin Racing in the team's LMP1 prototype at the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida.
-source: harold primat