Front row for G-Drive Racing and the ORECA 03 at Le Mans

The Russian team placed their two cars in the top five positions.

After taking pole position in the LM P2 class in 2011 and 2012, the ORECA 03 signed the second fastest time in qualifying for the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours, thanks to G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR and drivers Martin/Conway/Rusinov. The Russian team placed their two cars in the top five with sister car driven by Nakano/Hamilton/Graves, while Murphy Prototypes took the seventh place with Hartley/Patterson/Chandhok.

#26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 03-Nissan: Roman Rusinov, John Martin, Mike Conway
#26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 03-Nissan: Roman Rusinov, John Martin, Mike Conway

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

On Saturday at 3pm, eight ORECA chassis will come to live to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans – seven ORECA 03 and one Alpine A450 – seven of which are powered by a V8 engine prepared in ORECA’s engine department at Magny-Cours.

G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR very satisfied. As was the case with the practice and first qualifying session the night before, the last two qualifying sessions were marked by changing weather conditions and several red flag periods.

The LM P2 class pole position was therefore taken in the final seconds of the last session, and although they had dominated, G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR were forced to relinquish the pole in the final moments.

With the second fastest time from the No. 26 ORECA 03 of Martin/Conway/Rusinov and the fifth quickest time from the No. 25 of Nakano/Hamilton/Graves, the result remains positive.

"We are happy to have our two prototypes in the top five» admits Simon Dowson, team manager. We didn’t look to improve our time: we didn’t want to take the risk. After all, we were on the pole last year, and who remembers that ? The focus is the race.

The drivers are happy with the cars’ handling and we can be satisfied with our practice and qualifying. The goal is clear : to have the two cars on the podium at the end of the 24 Hours of Le Mans."

Murphy Prototypes progresses, Pecom Racing remains patient… With the seventh time in the third and final session, Murphy Prototype turned up the heat and will start from the seventh overall row on Saturday for the 90th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

"We signed the seventh fastest time with only one real attempt, and I had not driven in the dry before tonight » explains Brendon Hartley, who shares the No. 48 ORECA 03 with Mark Patterson and Karun Chandhok. I think we could have figured in the top three, but everyone must fight against the traffic.

We can still improve the balance of the car and we will probably bring a few changes for the race. The team really did a superb job, especially considering we didn’t have a lot of time on track. With Mark and Karun, we’re all in a good rhythm and we can aim for a podium finish."

While the Alpine A450 qualified eighth, Pecom Racing, current leaders in the FIA World Endurance Championship, came home 10th in class. With driving squad Kaffer/Minassian/Perez Companc, the Argentine team preferred to conserve the car and focus on the race.

Thiriet by TDS Racing, reigning European Le Mans Series champions, and leading the championship again this year, did not take part in the two Thursday sessions after suffering an accident the day before.

The French team continues to rebuild their ORECA 03. Race Performance signed the 14th time in the LM P2 class, while Boutsen Ginion Racing took the 22nd spot. In 2012, seven of eight ORECA 03 at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans finished, with two on the podium.

The customer teams, winners at Silverstone, Spa and Imola since the start of the 2013 season, will be once again aiming for the top spots with top driver lineups and a prototype that marries performance with reliability. With more than 20 competitors, the LM P2 class is likely to be the most fiercely contested!


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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers Karun Chandhok , Mike Conway , Eric Gilbert , Roman Rusinov , Mark Patterson , Brendon Hartley , John Martin
Teams Nissan Motorsport , G-Drive Racing , Pecom Racing , Delta-ADR , Murphy Prototypes , Boutsen Ginion Racing , TDS Racing
Article type Qualifying report
Tags conway, g-drive, graves, hamilton, hartley/patterson/chandhok, lemans, martin, nakano, oreca, rusinov