Le Mans: Friday practice notes

Salignon comes out fighting Eric Salignon (Cram Competition) set the best time in the two free practice sessions here today at Le Mans. The driver from Carpentras in the South of France was faster than San Marino's Christian Montanari (Draco ...

Salignon comes out fighting

Eric Salignon (Cram Competition) set the best time in the two free practice sessions here today at Le Mans. The driver from Carpentras in the South of France was faster than San Marino's Christian Montanari (Draco Multiracing USA) and Tristan Gommendy (KTR).

The best time (1'24''214) set in joint testing on Thursday by Colin Flemming (Jenzer Motorsport) was beaten by Christian Montanari with only ten minutes of the first free practice session gone. Simon Pagenaud (Saulnier Racing) then showed he was a force to be reckoned with by going round in under 1'24''. But Montanari then seized back the advantage at the chequered flag by putting in a lap in under 1'23''371.

In the afternoon, Enrico Toccacelo (Victory Engineering), Andreas Zuber (Carlin Motorsport) and Markus Winkelhock (Draco Multiracing USA) fought it out amongst themselves for the fastest lap without managing to beat Montanari's time.

In the closing minutes of the session, Will Power (Carlin Motorsport) then Eric Salignon (Cram Comp0x00e9tition) took it in turns to go fastest. With a lap in 1'23''056, Eric is now the fastest driver since the start of the weekend.

The other major news of the day is the state of health of Adrian Valles. The Pons Racing driver is suffering from an ear infection meaning he was unable to race today. The second-placed driver in the Championship may not be able to compete tomorrow.

Christian Montanari (Draco Multiracing USA): "I am happy to already be setting such good times on Friday. I put in my fastest lap after changing onto fresh tyres. But for me the major uncertainty this weekend is the weather."

Tristan Gommendy (KTR): "This morning I span the car when the tyres were still cold. One of the tyres was damaged and we had to switch to an old set of tyres. After that the yellow flags came out, which meant I was unable to get a clear lap in. Things went better in the afternoon session, but I wasn't worried about our potential here as we were already excellent on Thursday."

Simon Pagenaud (DHG Saulnier Racing): "We have been through a major testing programme and were able to test everything we wanted to. We have learnt some useful lessons from the tests and I think we will be able to get a good result this weekend."

Enrique Toccacelo (Victory Engineering): "The weekend got off to a bad start with an engine failure yesterday and an electrical problem this morning which meant I was unable to do more than three laps. The second session was more reassuring. Things are getting better at least!"

Andreas Zuber (Carlin Motorsport): "Things are getting better and better for us. We are improving the settings a little more with every session. The track is not very difficult here, but there is a lot of compression which makes it tricky to find the right suspension setup."

Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi): "Today was an interesting day for us as we were able to try out several setups. Overall, I was encountering a lot of oversteer, but I think we are going to be able to sort that out for qualifying."

Colin Flemming (Jenzer Motorsport): "Everything is going fine. I really enjoy this circuit. In Valencia I felt I had the potential but I wasn't able to turn it into good race results. I hope I will able to do so here."

-wsr-

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Eric Salignon , Christian Montanari , Tristan Gommendy , Robert Kubica , Will Power , Markus Winkelhock , Adrian Valles , Andreas Zuber , Simon Pagenaud
Teams Carlin , Jenzer Motorsport