Le Mans, 14TH June 2001midnight.... Team Bentley's two EXP Speed 8 Le Mans GT Prototypes have qualified for the Le Mans 24-hour race in seventh and ninth places with times of 3min 37.4sec and 3min 38.5sec for the number 7 and 8 car ...
Le Mans, 14TH June 2001midnight.... Team Bentley's two EXP Speed 8 Le Mans GT Prototypes have qualified for the Le Mans 24-hour race in seventh and ninth places with times of 3min 37.4sec and 3min 38.5sec for the number 7 and 8 car respectively.
Final qualifying proved again the inherent reliability of the both cars, which ran without significant fault throughout both two hour sessions. Unfortunately set up difficulties, a slower track and bad luck in the shape of a puncture for the Number 7 car meant neither car was able to improve upon on the times set in yesterday's qualifying session. Even so, the Bentleys still managed to set the fifth and seventh fastest times of the day.'
Richard Lloyd, team principal said: `It's been a good session for Team Bentley. Realistically pole position was never going to be within reach and I'm very happy that both cars are in the top ten. We have concentrated on endurance testing, finding the right set-up for the race and are very pleased with the data we have gathered.'
Team Bentley's team manager, John Wickham observed: `The first part of the session was difficult for us as we tried some set-up changes that didn't do what we wanted. But we worked hard to sort it out and I believe we have now found a set up that's going to work well for us.'
Brian Gush, Bentley's director of engineering operations and motorsport commented: `We worked on the race set up and ran all through the session. Conditions were not as favourable as yesterday so we didn't record any faster times, but we were concentrating more on providing the drivers with the right platform for the race, testing tyre compounds and evaluating brake wear. All the drivers are now happy with where we are and we have good reason to feel confident for the race.'
Five times Le Mans winner and Team Bentley consultant, Derek Bell said: `We can be very happy with where we are and at least everyone has now shown their hands. It's been a little frustrating thanks to the traffic but I'm more than content with our position. We didn't come here to do one qualifying lap; we came to finish this race and all the signs are still that we're in fine shape to achieve that goal.'
Martin Brundle, who recorded the fastest time in the number 7 car said: `It's been a difficult session. There are still problems with traffic and we had difficulty finding the right set-up for the car. No question the speed is in there - we just didn't quite get to it all this evening.'
Andy Wallace who qualified the number 8 car said: `The car's been great - better even than yesterday though the track conditions are worse. It's great under braking and the tyres have been very consistent.'