Alsace-based team returns to La Sarthe track with a whole new objective in mind: to prepare for its first participation.
With a second place-finish at the recent 4 Hours of Imola in the European Le Mans Series, the Sébastien Loeb Racing is about to discover the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in concrete terms as part of the Test Day. Two years to the day after its first steps on the famous track of La Sarthe, the Alsace-based team now returns to that track with a whole new objective in mind : to prepare for its first participation. Actually that weekend promises to be busy as one part of the team will also be in Lédenon for the French GT Championship and the Porsche Carrera Cup France ! Vincent Capillaire and Jan Charouz, official drivers in the ELMS, will be joined by René Rast, at the wheel of the ORECA 03R.
« A concrete first step in the legend.... »
After a wise way in at the 4 Hours of Silverstone, the Sébastien Loeb Racing picked up some momentum at the 4 Hours of Imola. A solid race for the whole team, a right and appropriate strategy and a faultless performance delivered by the drivers allowed the team to reach the podium for the first time since its return in Endurance at the beginning of the season. The Sébastien Loeb Racing will take advantage of that good energy in approaching the 24 Hours of Le Mans Test Day.
« The first two rounds of the ELMS have allowed us to set everything up and the good result at Imola did confirm our move to the next phase, Le Mans » says Team Manager Franck Tiné. « We are in high spirits for that day which will be crucial in our preparation. Though the team has already taken part in the Test Day before, it will feel different this time since our first start at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is in sight. It is a first concrete step in the legend and an important dress rehearsal for the drivers who, apart from Jan, will be discovering the track in LM P2. Also, a big day of work is waiting for us with Michelin and with our first laps with the ORECA 03R. Our aim is clearly to begin this challenge on a good note so that we can have also a good approach of the racing week. »
Alongside Jan Charouz who has participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans seven times with one podium in LM P2 in 2010 and a 4th place on the overall rankings in 2009, Vincent Capillaire and René Rast will be discovering the twice around the clock in La Sarthe. As a local contender, since he is a driver-instructor in Le Mans, Vincent is already familiar with the layout of the track and has already driven on it as part of the Formula Le Mans race in 2009. As an Audi Sport customer racing in GT, René is used to long races and will be making his debut on that track. It will be its first time sitting on an LM P2 bucket-seat since the test sessions last April in Le Castellet.
« It is in terms of our approach that we want to be ready… »
While Team Manager Franck Tiné and Technical Director Léo Thomas will be in Le Mans for the Test Day, Sébastien Loeb and Dominique Heintz, co-founders of the team, will be in the South of France following the GT & Cup programmes. They will nevertheless keep an eye on the performance of the No.24. « Le Mans is a project that we did set up right from the moment the team was created and this test day is an important step » explains Dominique Heintz. « We have a precise way forward and we are aware that the experience on that day may have an impact on the racing week. Beyond the result itself and our position on the time sheet, it is in terms of our approach that we want to be ready. The team and drivers must seize that opportunity of a perfect rehearsal. It is our last warm-up match and we must be successful. »
Sébastien Loeb Racing