SINGIN' IN THE RAIN! Le Mans, France -- 14 June 2007: The Scuderia Ecosse boys and girls are singing in the rain tonight after securing pole position for the 75th Le Mans 24 Hours. Andrew Kirkaldy's banker lap...
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN!
Le Mans, France -- 14 June 2007: The Scuderia Ecosse boys and girls are singing in the rain tonight after securing pole position for the 75th Le Mans 24 Hours. Andrew Kirkaldy's banker lap of 4:04.185 last night remains the fastest GT2 lap as both of tonight's sessions were wet.
The first of tonight's sessions was delayed by 30 minutes as an earlier outing for historic cars had left a lot of oil through the Porsche Curves. Once the track was clean the session started but so did the rain. Within ten minutes the rain was torrential and only a few lonely cars ventured out for a soggy lap or two. Once the rain eased Tim Mullen took to the track in the Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430. During the day the team had worked hard to prepare the car for the race, changing the engine and fitting all the race parts. The plan for qualifying was to finalise the car's preparations for the race rather than go for another fast lap time.
Andrew Kirkaldy and Chris Niarchos took their turns during the second part of the session before the team called it a day at the end of session one at 2130hrs. With the wet conditions continuing, the team chose not to risk the car for the sake of a few more laps in the rain.
"I'm really happy to be on pole here at Le Mans. It was disappointing to miss out on pole last year after being quickest in the test so it's good to get the job done this time. The weather was kind to us today by keeping the track good and wet. The team did a great job; the engineers made a good decision yesterday to get in a banker lap before the conditions changed so we're pleased it all paid off."
"The conditions were pretty terrifying tonight: dark, raining and 180mph is always an interesting experience! The only issue I have is a limited amount of time in the car but it feels good now and the tyres are good too; I feel comfortable. We've done our preparation and we're as ready as we'll ever be. I'm nervous of course, but nervous with anticipation, this is the Le Mans 24 Hours after all. It's going to be a tough race, especially with these changeable weather conditions, but we're ready for it."
"I think we're all ready for this now. There are a couple of bits of dry testing we could have done but we're looking good. If we get a clean run we have a god chance of success. No-one really showed their true pace in qualifying but we think we're up there. We were quick in the rain too so that is a great benefit considering the changing weather."
Stewart Roden, Team Principal:
"We did what we needed to do tonight with regard to setting the car up for the race, then we parked up so as not to take any unnecessary risks. We also managed some good work on emergency pit-stop rehearsals which will help us during the race. The guys have worked hard and we're all ready to go now so we're looking forward to a good race."
There will be no on-track activity tomorrow. Chris, Andrew and Tim, along with all the other Le Mans drivers, will be in the town centre tomorrow for the traditional driver's parade through the streets of Le Mans.
The 75th Le Mans 24 Hours will begin on Saturday at 1500hrs.