CREATION FLIES THE FLAG FOR BRITAIN AT LE MANS In warm, humid - but above all, dry - conditions, the lap times fell away this evening in an all-out fight for the glory of pole position for the 73rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The...
CREATION FLIES THE FLAG FOR BRITAIN AT LE MANS
In warm, humid - but above all, dry - conditions, the lap times fell away this evening in an all-out fight for the glory of pole position for the 73rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The British Creation team were all too aware that the times expected of the hybrid Pescarolo cars would likely put pole position out of their reach, so they were pleased with the final outcome of the two days of qualifying.
The electric blue DBA-Judd, driven by Nicolas Minassian, recorded a fastest time of 3:38.929 in the opening minutes of the second two-hour session on its only set of Michelin qualifying tyres, placing it in 7th place on the grid, the highest placing for a British team and out-qualifying six times Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen.
The Sussex-based Frenchman said afterwards, "Everything was good but we were just unlucky with the traffic. You know, that's just the way it goes sometimes. We only had one set of qualifying tyres to use so we had to try everything on those and it was a very, very good lap. It was a shame as I think I lost a lot of time, probably a couple of seconds, through the Porsche Curves when I was held up by one of the Courage cars. I'm pretty happy with where we are though I think we could have been much better than this, but that's not so important for Le Mans. The car is pretty good, we are happy with it, and we are all ready."
Minassian, Jamie Campbell-Walter and Andy Wallace ran the minimum of laps throughout the two two-hour sessions today as the car has already been fitted with its race engine and the team decided that there was little to be gained in putting too many miles on it before the start of the race.
Team Principal Ian Bickerton reflected on the last two days and the approach of the team's first Le Mans start: "We're p7 which we're quite pleased with. We only used the one set of qualifying tyres which is basically what we planned to do. Nic did a fantastic job - the tyre basically lasts for two laps so you've got to do it in that time - despite being held up on his second lap. P3 would have been on the cards, but p7 is where we're at and it's a good place to start, on the fourth row. The right place for us.
"The new race engine seems quite a bit stronger than the engine we tested with, which is very encouraging. Judd have done some good updates to it and we are very hopeful for the race. Tomorrow we'll put in a new gearbox and clutch, and will start the race in good form.
"The team is dealing very well with being here at Le Mans. It's a new young team, only together for two and a half years, and it's a big deal being here for all of us, the mechanics, engineers and even myself. Yes, we're making a few mistakes along the way but all in all we're as well prepared as many of the more established teams. We'll be fine!"