An encouraging start for Creation at Le Mans Despite the weather this evening doing its best to work against the pre-prepared plans of every team present, it was a very happy Creation team which left the track at the end of the first four hours...
An encouraging start for Creation at Le Mans
Despite the weather this evening doing its best to work against the pre-prepared plans of every team present, it was a very happy Creation team which left the track at the end of the first four hours of running here at the famous Le Mans track in France.
By close of play at midnight Nicolas Minassian had recorded the 3rd fastest time of the field (4:02.992) - a lap set on intermediate Michelin tyres on a fast drying track.
As the green flag dropped at 7pm for the start of the initial two hours of practice/qualifying, rain started to fall and Creation, together with everyone else, had to re-programme their plans for the available track time.
Minassian was the first to take the wheel of the DBA04S-Judd, and ran tentatively for the opening stages of the session, anxious not to push too hard in the tricky conditions. The team was part way through evaluating two different compounds of wet tyres when the Frenchman reported that he'd stopped at the Mulsanne Corner. The problem was quickly traced to a fuel pump fuse and this was soon rectified once he had re-set it and returned to the pits.
Jamie Campbell-Walter and Andy Wallace were then able to turn their first competitive laps of the 13.6km La Sarthe track, both continuing with tyre evaluation for the remainder of the early evening session. On a drying track, but still on soft rain tyres, Andy Wallace set a time of 4:15.396 shortly before 9pm.
Conditions improved for the second two-hour session and, once all three drivers had completed their compulsory three 'night' laps in order to qualify for the race, they continued to work towards a quicker lap time.
Towards midnight and the chequered flag, Nic set the fastest time of Creation's day which left them well placed for a successful further four hours of running tomorrow (Thursday).
Minassian was pleased but realistic when he reflected on the evening's outcome: "It was good. Andy and Jamie did very good work to set up the car and it got quicker and quicker every time each of us got in the car. Most of the work we did was with Michelin on the tyres. We tried hard and soft compounds and then the intermediates. It was very tricky with the inters in the Porsche Curves as it was still damp there, but we pushed like crazy everywhere. It's good to be up there, but I know that if it was dry we wouldn't maybe have been as lucky."
The final starting grid for Saturday's race will be determined once tomorrow's practice/qualifying sessions are completed.