ORECA in top seven for Le Mans qualifying

PlayStation Team ORECA in top seven at Le Mans. PlayStation Team ORECA's two Dallara Judds improved their grid times on Thursday evening, Stephane Sarrazin recording the fourth fastest time overall behind three Audi R8s, and Olivier Beretta ...

PlayStation Team ORECA in top seven at Le Mans.

PlayStation Team ORECA's two Dallara Judds improved their grid times on Thursday evening, Stephane Sarrazin recording the fourth fastest time overall behind three Audi R8s, and Olivier Beretta setting the seventh quickest time overall. The team's Chrysler Viper GTS R/T is seventh fastest in the highly competitive GTS category, after spending Thursday evening working carefully on the race set-up.

Stephane Sarrazin lapped the revised Le Mans circuit in 3m 31.828s, then left co-drivers Nicolas Minassian and Franck Montagny to complete the preparation of the Dallara. Says Minassian: "The car has a good balance, and the Michelin tyres are working well. The car is very comfortable and will be nice to drive through the night."

Minassian drove Team ORECA's Reynard at Le Mans two years ago, and said that the Dallara is like day after night. "This is a highly developed racing car which is more responsive to tuning, and will I believe be more reliable over the long distance."

Olivier Beretta, the team's senior driver, says that he is happy that there are two cars in the top seven, but wishes that his Dallara was the faster! "The grip is not quite so good at the rear tyres, but we are still working on the balance and I believe that it will be better for the race."

Both the Dallara will have their engines and gearboxes changed on Friday morning, in preparation for the warm-up on Saturday morning.

Says Hugues de Chaunac: "We are very proud, as a private team, to start the race in fourth and seventh positions ahead of the MGs, Bentley, Cadillacs and Panoz. We had hoped to be among the works Audis, which we were for a while during qualifying, and we plan to race them as strongly as possible to see if we can break their armour."

The PlayStation Team ORECA Chrysler Viper GTS R/T has been set up ideally for the race, but neither Jean-Philippe Belloc, Jonathan Treluyer or Jonathan Cochet attempted to set a faster time than on Wednesday evening, at 3m 59.302s.

"We have changed the engine for the race, and the gearbox during the evening, so the car is changed quite a bit" said Cochet. "We know that the Chrysler Viper is a very strong car, capable of winning the GTS class for the fourth time, but we will need to be completely reliable to beat the Chevrolet Corvettes."

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Series Le Mans
Drivers Jonathan Cochet , Franck Montagny , Nicolas Minassian , Stéphane Sarrazin , Jean-Philippe Belloc , Olivier Beretta , Hugues de Chaunac