FIA GT Championship - R3 Enna-Pergusa - Free Practice Sessions Notes and Quotes Philippe Alliot - nr 4 Force One Festina Chrysler Viper GTS-R: "The car was already working better at Magny-Cours, but because of the weather we were not able to...
FIA GT Championship - R3 Enna-Pergusa - Free Practice Sessions
Notes and Quotes
- nr 4 Force One Festina Chrysler Viper GTS-R:
"The car was already working better at Magny-Cours, but because of the weather we were not able to show our speed until the race. We have confirmed that progress here, with both the cars running well. Now we only need to find the reliability in order to get a good finish." With David Hallyday testing for Le Mans, Steve Zacchia will be alongside Alliot this weekend. "It's going better than in the morning - this is my first time at Enna and I was rather surprised by the height of the kerbs in the chicanes. But the team has changed the brakes and I am gaining confidence in the car. This is my first year in a Viper, and there is a lot more power than in the Porsche Cup, where I competed last year. It was rather awe-inspiring to start with, but now I am used to it."
- nr 5 Force One Festina Chrysler Viper GTS-R:
"I am happy with the time I did this afternoon. Mike did tyre testing in the morning, so we used both sets to compare them, so I had no brand new tyres for the afternoon. In my fastest lap I made a small error, braked too late and missed the apex, so I am quite happy with second fastest overall. The car is very consistent; even with a heavy fuel load, I managed five 1:37 laps. The Viper went well here last year, and it is a very good track for Pirelli; the tyres work perfectly. The asphalt is quite rough, so the tyres come up to temperature quickly, whereas we usually take two laps to get the heat in. I also like the circuit a lot; I really enjoyed driving here during last year's race. So we hope to pull away right from the start and build up a gap.
- nr 7 Graham Nash Motorsport Saleen S7-R:
"It is not going so well today. We lost a right rear wheel, and we are not sure yet why. Mike was in the car, just getting laps under his belt and learning the track, as neither of us have been here before. We were really not going over the kerbs, not as much as the Konrad Saleen, so we really do not understand what happened. We do not think it is to do with the kerbs. We need a good result; we have no doubt that we have the speed for the top three. But we are still learning, both the team and drivers, which is quite normal for our first year."
- nr 14 Lister Storm:
"You don't need skill for this circuit, you need brute force; you have to switch off your brain for one lap and go crazy, then switch your brain back on and hope you have not broken your car. In the race, you've got to go crazy and hope to get to the end. With the kerbs, you either have to ignore them or go straight over them - there is no point going half over them." As for Nathan Kinch, he was getting to know the track. "It's a bit of an eye-opener, and I still need more track time, but it is getting better."
A van der Zwaan
- nr 18 Zwaan's Racing Chrysler Viper:
"Everything is fine, but we need to change something, as we are not fast enough. This is the first time we have raced here, and it is a very strange circuit, with the straights and chicanes, and quite bumpy. We only did a few fast laps after going slowly to learn the circuit. We'll go faster next session. If you use the kerbs here, it'll be very hard on the car, so we decided not to use them. We might be back in qualifying, but our strategy is to be gentle on the car and to get to the end. We have also changed the water cooler in case of any problems with the heat."
- nr 21 Care Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello:
"Lilian did an excellent lap and set the fastest time today. But I am also very pleased with my performance, as with only 6 laps in the car, I set a time of 1:37.5. This time I know the circuit very well, which helps a lot. I think Lilian can go for pole tomorrow, and I think we can have a very good weekend."
- nr 23 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello:
"Thomas decided not to push this morning, and did not go over the kerbs. This afternoon, we will push harder. It is definitely more difficult with 80 kg on board - it is heaver on braking, but I am sure we are able to make a good race. I only did 5 laps this morning, and this is my first time here, so I was getting to know the track. It is quite difficult to go between Formula One and the FIA GT Championship - for the first four or five laps it is very strange. But I am really enjoying racing in the Championship - I enjoy the three-hour format, and the Ferrari is great to drive."
- nr 57 MENX Ferrari 360 Modena:
"Everything is going well. We might be three seconds off the fastest Porsche, but we are keeping quite close to TMC, which is our reference point. Tomas knows the track from Formula 3000, so he is doing the set-up, which is not finished yet. I still have to learn the track, but so far, it's fine - I like fast tracks. We have a new engine this weekend after our problems in Magny Cours, and we hope to have a good weekend."
- nr 58 Autopalace Ferrari 360 Modena:
"We have electrical problems with the engine, which keeps on cutting out, 25 or 30 times per lap. We have no idea what is wrong; it is likely to be an associated electronic problem, rather than a problem with the engine itself. We are currently 8 seconds off the pace, but we could still end up with a good result on Sunday. But at the moment - it's broken. The car is brand new, and we only did an hour of testing, when we had a different engine problem, which we solved."
- nr 61 EMKA Racing Porsche 996 GT3-RS:
"We are finding out how high we can launch the car over the kerbs ! The car was very under-geared this morning, so we had to lift off, but it should be better in the afternoon. We spent much of the session running in the new engine, so only did three fast laps."
- nr 74 Eurotech Porsche:
"None of us have been here, and we had a gearbox problem this morning. I like the track, but we need to learn which kerbs to use and which ones to avoid, so I think we were being a bit too cautious."
- nr 99 RWS Yukos Porsche 996 GT3-RS:
"The nr 2 Konrad Motorsport Saleen S7-R spun right in front of me, and came back onto the track. I could not avoid it, and we had a big crash. The car is pretty badly damaged, but apparently they can mend it for tomorrow. Apart from that, it was all going pretty well, and our times were good considering we had not used new tyres."