Sam Bird told Sam Smith that he believes that he and his G-Drive Racing teammates have a good chance of LMP2 glory in his second Le Mans 24 Hours next month.
The 28-year-old Briton will share the team's Ligier-Nissan in the ultra-competitive secondary class with Julien Canal and Roman Rusinov, arriving at the official Le Mans test day this weekend with a class victory and pole position from the first two WEC rounds of 2015.
“It has been a mixture so far this season, the high of Silverstone and then the low of Spa when we had a good chance of another win but then had to retire,” said Bird.
The competition is fierce this year, but we are not frightened by anyone.
“The team had a very good Le Mans last year and this year knows much more about the car. Personally I only did five laps last week in Spa, but Roman and Julien got more.
“I think we will be in good shape at Le Mans. The competition is fierce this year, but we are not frightened by anyone.
“The Honda-powered Ligier will be quick, the ORECA looked quick at the ELMS race [at Imola] recently and then there is the sister G-Drive car and the champions from last year - JOTA.
“It is Le Mans so it isn’t going to come to us. We will be as well prepared as we can be and if we can all match our preparation and skill with a little bit of luck we can be real contenders.”
Team down one engine
Bird, who briefly tested the Ligier at Spa last week, believes that the team’s program at Le Mans this Sunday will be cautious and slightly limited.
“What we have to remember is that we had an engine failure at the last round in Spa so we are down by one unit compared to everyone else,” explained Bird.
“It means that we will have to be limited at the test this weekend as we don’t want to put too much mileage on it.
“We will get data and we will run a reasonable amount but I think in comparison to other entries we will be quite restricted on how we manage the running.”