On Saturday, 22nd June the green flag will be waved for the twice-round-the-clock running of the biggest endurance race of them all, the Le Mans 24 Hours, which this year celebrates its 90th Anniversary.
Le Mans is always special, but yesterday the weather was a bit special too, uncharacteristic wet conditions and cold air temperatures meant that other than a couple of installation laps, the two Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-03b LMP2 race cars, #33 and #44, sat it out in the pit and did not get any meaningful laps in the morning session.
By the second 4-hour session, which began at 14.00hrs, the weather had improved only very slightly. Scott Tucker managed 36 laps in the #44 car and Ryan Briscoe spent enough time behind the wheel to more than cover his ten compulsory rookie laps, whilst in between pit stops for set-up changes Marino was able to fit in 16 laps in the #33 car.
A very frustrating day all round, but nevertheless Marino was confident that despite encountering some very heavy traffic during his stint, usually in the most difficult parts of the track, his individual sector times were very competitive.
Due primarily to the conditions, the majority of the other 60 cars testing were not wanting to go offline for fear of risking an accident, which had happened earlier in the day when the sessions had to be red flagged.
Marino was happy in the knowledge that the #33 car could easily have made the top five of the LMP2 category which bodes well for the race in just 12 days from now.
Here's what Marino had to say after the Le Mans Test, "The Level 5 guys did a fantastic job of preparing both cars for today, one of the things we can't control is the weather and with track time so limited at Le Mans it's a real shame to lose so much of the day to the rain.
Still, we were able to achieve our main goals of having Ryan complete his rookie laps, get Scott some good seat time in the spare car and to get some information on the Michelin tyre that is new to us here.
The car felt pretty good, the track was improving every lap I was out there and I'm sure we'll make some further improvements over the next few days. I'm really looking forward to being in the thick of the LMP2 battle when we come back for the race."
On Saturday, 22nd June. at 3.00pm the green flag will be waved for the twice-round-the-clock running of the biggest endurance race of them all, the Le Mans 24 Hours, which this year celebrates its 90th Anniversary.
Marino Franchitti Racing