QUAIFE FEELING CONFIDENT AFTER SUCCESSFUL PAUL RICARD TEST British racing driver Phil Quaife emerged from the Official Le Mans Series test days at Paul Ricard HTTT full of confidence and looking forward to the opening round of the 2010 season at...
QUAIFE FEELING CONFIDENT AFTER SUCCESSFUL PAUL RICARD TEST
British racing driver Phil Quaife emerged from the Official Le Mans Series test days at Paul Ricard HTTT full of confidence and looking forward to the opening round of the 2010 season at the French track next month.
The two-day test session, attended by most of the 50 teams expected to be on the LMS grid this season, gave the Tonbridge-based racer the chance to re-acquaint himself with a GT2-spec CRS Racing Ferrari 430 test car, similar to the one he drove in last year's Spa 24 Hours and an updated version of which he will race in the highly-competitive GT2 class of the LMS this season. It was also an opportunity to meet his 2010 co-drivers, Pierre Ehret and Pierre Kaffer, for the first time.
The trio used the ample track time to undergo some crucial set-up work with CRS Racing's new engineers and, despite the surprisingly low temperatures in the south of France, the team took a step forward in terms of performance during a useful couple of days.
"Everything went very well and the car felt good right away," said Quaife. "The pit lane was open from 9am to 6pm so there was time to do loads of laps and we knuckled down to some hard work almost immediately on the first day.
"The car ran faultlessly for two days, which bodes well considering how much running we did, and we made progress throughout. Despite the low temperatures, the opening round is only a few weeks away, so we used the opportunity to find a set-up which we think will work well in the 8-hour race at Paul Ricard in April."
Crucially, Phil also found an immediate rapport with his new co-drivers, Ehret and Kaffer, with whom he'll share the Ferrari 430 in the Paul Ricard 8 Hours and the 1000km races at Spa, the Hungaroring, the Algarve Circuit and Silverstone this year.
"It was the first time I have had the chance to meet them both and we hit it off straight away," he said. "They're both really good guys and have a lot of experience in GT racing so I am looking forward to racing alongside them this year."
Quaife's times were on the pace of the other leading GT2-class contenders, which this year include the likes of former F1 stars Jean Alesi and Giancarlo Fisichella.
"After such a long winter break without driving it felt really good to be back in a car I love, in a championship I've always wanted to race in, against drivers of the calibre of Giancarlo Fisichella and Jean Alesi," Quaife admitted.
-source: phil quaife