Charouz Racing System best qualified petrol car at Le Mans The Aston Martin powered LMP1 car of Charouz Racing System took the honour of being the fastest petrol car in qualifying for the 76th edition of the 24 Heures du Mans. The car even...
Charouz Racing System best qualified petrol car at Le Mans
The Aston Martin powered LMP1 car of Charouz Racing System took the honour of being the fastest petrol car in qualifying for the 76th edition of the 24 Heures du Mans. The car even managed to outpace one of the factory diesel prototypes and so, on Saturday, it will line up on the third row of the grid.
Thursday witnessed a much stronger performance from the brand new coupe, which is the only prototype powered by a production-based engine, the Aston Martin V12 from the highly successful GT1 DBR9 car. The team managed to improve handling of the car compared to the first day, allowing Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mucke to enjoy a very productive qualifying session. They beat their previous fastest time by nearly 10 seconds.
Mucke's best lap time of 3:25.158 is the fastest qualifying time set by a petrol car on the current circuit. While the team is delighted with the new car's qualifying pace on its Le Mans debut, it is very aware that the main challenge is still to come.
There is no activity on the track on Friday, but this does not mean that the team and drivers can relax. The mechanics will work hard to prepare the car for rigorous demands of the 24- hour race, while the drivers will meet the fans in the historic Jacobins square in Le Mans town centre during the traditional drivers' parade.
Jan Charouz: "It was much better day for me both in and out of the car. I felt a little bit unwell yesterday but I am better now and so is the car. I carried out some simulations for the race and set some competitive times. The car is much easier to drive now and I feel confident behind the wheel. Overall it was very good day."
Tomas Enge: "The team can be satisfied with our speed as we were able to improve the handling of the car and subsequently lap times. Personally I wish I could have done more laps but I should be okay in the race. We can see that our speed is very good as I was able to follow the diesels. We did the first part of the job but the second, and much more demanding part, still lies ahead. I am sure that the team will do its best to prepare a quick and reliable car for the race. I am also looking forward to tomorrow's drivers' parade; it is always nice to enjoy the terrific atmosphere created by many thousands of fans."
Stefan Mucke: "We are all very happy with the improvements that we made after yesterday. My lap was quite good; I just got a little traffic at the end. We beat one of the Audis and were the fastest petrol car, which is a great achievement for us. I think we can be quite optimistic regarding our race pace as well. I am looking forward to the start."
Antonin Charouz, Team Principal: "We cannot ask for more. I am more than happy with today's performance. It is the first start with this car here and be the fastest petrol car is truly satisfying. To beat one diesel is a bonus and we all saw that they tried very hard to out-qualify us at the end. We should be quick in the race trim. The race is long and demanding and strong reliability will be key to a good result."
George Howard-Chappell, Technical Director, Aston Martin Racing: "Overall it's been a very pleasing qualifying session. We're particularly pleased with the qualifying performance from Stefan Mucke. The team had quite a difficult time getting dialled into Le Mans, but to split the Audi diesels was a great achievement. I now feel that we are very well prepared for the epic battle due to start on Saturday."