A satisfying day for Creation at the Le Mans test After a day of testing, assessing and evaluating, the Creation Autosportif team can look forward to the forthcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans on the 18th/19th June with great anticipation. The blue...
A satisfying day for Creation at the Le Mans test
After a day of testing, assessing and evaluating, the Creation Autosportif team can look forward to the forthcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans on the 18th/19th June with great anticipation.
The blue DBA04S-Judd posted a time of 3m 39.568 to place it 9th on the time sheets for the day. It was driven by Nicolas Minassian, Jamie Campbell-Walter and Andy Wallace - the Frenchman and two Britons using all their Le Mans experience to work together to obtain the best set up available for the race.
Under mostly clear skies and an average temperature of 15oc, the team worked through a planned programme which covered aerodynamics, cooling, suspension and tyre evaluation. They had no major technical problems throughout the day and all were positive about what had been achieved. Plans to set a quick time on qualifying tyres were, however, thwarted by rain which began around 5.30pm and only tailed off at the very end of the session.
Nicolas Minassian, who was relishing the prospect of the DBA at Le Mans, said afterwards. "It was a very constructive day. Everything we did was in the right direction again, and the communication between the three drivers and the team went really well. I think we are all happy with the balance of the car now and the only down thing was that we couldn't manage to put together a good lap because of the weather. On the other hand we know where we are with the car, and we could be perhaps p3 or p4 [in qualifying for the race]. Pole or second will be impossible, that is a fact, but it would be a good achievement if we could get p3. The car ran faultlessly, we had no issues with the car and it's looking good."
Minassian's regular LMES partner, Jamie Campbell-Walter, was equally upbeat. "It was good. We got through all of the stuff we had programmed and we've made the car a bit better to drive. It's the first time here for the team so we've had no data to go from, unlike most of our rivals. I'm happy with the car, it's easy to drive and doesn't do anything nasty which is the main thing for a 24 hour race. It's a bit of a shame not to be a bit higher up the grid, but obviously others got their qualifying times in and we were hit by the rain at the wrong time. At the end of the day, it's just a test though. Ten days time will be when it counts."
Former Le Mans winner, and the most experienced Briton on the grid for the 2005 endurance classic, Andy Wallace, had a big smile on his face at the end of the day, despite nursing a rib injury from a recent race in the USA. "I'm happy. We didn't get a massive amount of laps in the car but then you never do at Le Mans. There is never enough time in the car. On my fast lap I caught the black Ferrari 360 in the Porsche curves which spoiled what could have been another quick time but that doesn't take away from the fact that I'm happy with the day and looking forward to the race VERY much."
Summing up the mood of the Creation team at the end of the only pre-race opportunity the competitors get to use the whole 13.6km circuit, Team Principal Ian Bickerton said, "We made some good changes to the car with Andy's advice, which has made it an even better race car. His input has been invaluable today. The type of car Nic likes to drive and the type that Andy likes is probably a bit different but I think we've now got a good race car.
"For qualifying we could have got p3. Nobody is going to catch Henri [Pescarolo]'s blue and green monsters but I have a good feeling about our car. We've done about 60 laps today with no problems. The Judd engine was good, the guys all worked well and the Michelin tyres were very, very good. They are definitely the tyre to have for Le Mans, no doubt about that. Our car is now responding to the softer compound tyre and it looks as if we can use the qualifying tyres too. Four weeks ago at Magny Cours, it looked as if there would be no way we could do that. We made good progress - a satisfying day!"