LEMANS: 2011 Test Day
About the art of being “negatively optimistic”
The official 24 Hours of Le Mans Test Day has been extremely insightful. First, we now know that the 2011 technical rules have neither tamed the prototypes performances, nor realigned the diesel-gasoline output gap. Four of the seven diesel LMP1 lapped under the 3’ 28‘‘ barrier while the first gasoline equivalent was ten seconds slower in 8th position.
On the other hand, we are more than pleased to be this 8th car… After all we’ve been through (an unexpected year-off, bankruptcy, surprise late rebirth…) the Pescarolo Team Autovision has proved that it hasn’t lost its savoir faire.
Henri Pescarolo, is only half surprised by the outcome: “ A few years ago, I would have complained about such situation. Not anymore, now I’ve decided to be negatively optimistic. I leave it to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest to analyze today’s lap times and draw their conclusions. One thing we know for sure is that there is at least a 100 hp gap between diesel and gasoline engines. A 24 Hours podium is out of reach for every LMP1 team equipped with a gasoline engine, except if the ACO readjust the rules or if Audi and Peugeot experience major trouble, something I would never wish… Looking on the bright side, we’ve had a perfect Test Day: weather conditions were optimum and our Technical Director Claude Galopin had plenty of time to adjust and refine the aerodynamic balance of our Pescarolo-Judd LMP1 to the requirements of the 24 Hours race track. Furthermore, our package has proved itself extremely reliable after 9 hours spent on the Paul Ricard track and 8 extra hours here at Le Mans without a single mechanical failure”.
Drivers were equally happy. Emmanuel Collard, Christophe Tinseau and Julien Jousse went through their entire test program and feel confident about official qualifications scheduled on the June 11th .
Among the 24 987 spectators that attended the event, numerous Pescarolo fans a.k.a the “little green men” had gathered in the grandstand facing our box to celebrate our come back at Le Mans. Partners of the Pescarolo Team Autovision were also there, Eolen’s staff and selected guests from Nerim while Autovision was organizing the final test of an internal competition. The reward? Their best MOT inspectors will be integrated to the Team next June.
After this rather satisfying interlude, the Pescarolo Team Autovision will try to keep the lead of the Le Mans Series Championship for the Spa-Francorchamps (B) round, scheduled on May 7th.