Originally-From: "Palmer, Kim" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Aston Martin drivers make their final preparations for the Le Mans, 12 June 2010. The six Aston Martin Works drivers are making their final preparations for the 78th Le Mans...
Originally-From: "Palmer, Kim" <email@example.com>
Aston Martin drivers make their final preparations for the
Le Mans, 12 June 2010. The six Aston Martin Works drivers are making their final preparations for the 78th Le Mans 24 Hours, which gets underway in three hours' time (CET).
Yesterday they took part in the drivers' parade, during which every competing crew is driven through the streets of Le Mans on the back of a vintage car, followed by a convoy of old and new supercars. Forming an integral part of the parade this year was a number of highlights from the Aston Martin road car range, including the new Rapide four-door sports car, powered by the same V12 that is at the heart of the company's LMP1 challenger. The same powerplant is also seen in the DBS and V12 Vantage, which took part in the parade as well.
In the meantime, the two Gulf-liveried race cars have been stripped down after qualifying and rebuilt. The aim is to ensure that both the 007 and 009 cars will start the 78th Le Mans 24 Hours in the best possible mechanical condition, ready for the huge rigours that a race around the clock will impose.
This morning, the cars took to the track in wet conditions for a warm-up from 09:00-09:45, designed as a shakedown test to bed in all the new parts that have been installed in the car.
Some heavy overnight rain had made the track extremely slippery, and the overcast weather seems set to remain variable throughout the rest of the day. For the time being, the race is expected to start in dry weather -- but as is always the case at Le Mans anything can happen.
Stefan Mucke will start the race in the 007 car from eighth on the grid, so he took it out for a few exploratory laps during the warm-up this morning. "It was very slippery but the car felt good," he said. "I think we're quite well prepared now. The only thing is that we don't really know what the weather will be doing later. It should stay dry but you never know."
Darren Turner, who took the 009 car out and will start the race at 15:00 from ninth on the grid, said: "Everything went fine. The routine for the warm-up is just to go out for an installation lap, in order to check that everything is working properly, and then to do a slightly longer run if there's anything else to look at. There's not a lot new you can learn. But every bit of time you can spend in the car helps."
The drivers will now try to rest a bit before the race build-up, which this year includes a tribute to the traditional Le Mans start.
At 14.15, the 56 drivers taking the start will walk across the track to be strapped into their cars, which will be facing them in herringbone formation: just like the old days. They will be strapped in with the help of their mechanics and then released one by one to take their places on the grid for the rolling start at 15:00 as usual. Then, it will simply be a question of keeping going for the next 24 hours...
-source: aston martin