Veloqx Prodrive Racing set the pace for June The two Care Racing owned Ferrari 550 Maranellos campaigned by Veloqx Prodrive Racing showed a clean pair of heels to their competitors in the GTS class throughout the entire 8 hours of track time ...
Veloqx Prodrive Racing set the pace for June
The two Care Racing owned Ferrari 550 Maranellos campaigned by Veloqx Prodrive Racing showed a clean pair of heels to their competitors in the GTS class throughout the entire 8 hours of track time available at yesterday's official preliminary test session.
Tomas Enge of the Czech Republic, driving car no.88, set a fastest time of 3m 57.180 in the final minutes of the session, just ahead of his British team-mates' Ferrari no.80. The distance between Enge and arch track rivals Corvette, who were 4th fastest in class, was 1.7 seconds.
For the first and only time before the main event in June, the famous Le Mans circuit threw open its doors to competitors, the world's media and spectators alike, offering a glimpse of the racing battles in store in six weeks time. Dry, bright conditions offered the Veloqx Prodrive newcomers to the track a perfect opportunity to learn its lines, braking points and idiosyncrasies.
Kelvin Burt, Anthony Davidson and Darren Turner, the driving team for car no.80, all profited from a trouble free day and had plenty of time to pound around the 13.6km track and thoroughly familiarise themselves with it in daylight hours.
Although largely problem free, car 88 was inconvenienced with an engine change mid morning - completed in just over one hour - and two punctures caused by debris on the track. Despite this, drivers Jamie Davies, Tomas Enge and Peter Kox all completed approximately 20 laps each behind the wheel and were very happy with the way in which the test session had gone.
Kelvin Burt (GB), car no. 80:
"My initial impressions were that the track wasn't as daunting as I'd expected. It's quite wide between the barriers so the high speeds somehow don't feel as mind-blowingly quick as they would on a narrower track. Having said that, I'm certain it will be a real eye opener in the dark or in the rain. I was pleased with the pace we set today, and we were all very quickly up to similar speeds. A good day."
Anthony Davidson (GB), car no. 80:
"It's a great circuit - really good fun to drive - even if it's a bit more bumpy than I thought it would be. We all learnt the track quickly, and I feel at home in the car after the good test we had at Paul Ricard as well as today. We were on the pace with our team-mates in the other car for nearly the whole day which is good, bearing in mind they've got more Le Mans experience, and the team is top of the [GTS] list which is a boost for all of us. The race is going to be a real challenge, with higher levels of concentration needed than I originally thought. Even on the Mulsanne, you don't get that long to rest between the chicanes!"
Jamie Davies (GB), car no. 88:
"I'm very happy. We worked mainly on the race set up today - we know we've got the pace in the car to be able to put us at the front of the class, so we were just working on a nice balance which would be comfortable for all three of us. Luckily all three of us seem to feel the car in the same way, which is good and we are pleased with where we ended up."
Tomas Enge (CZ), car no. 88:
"This afternoon we tried several different set ups and tuning of the car including another type of aero balance. I'm pretty happy with the way it's gone, and my team-mates were very fast too so at this moment I would say we are well prepared for the race here."
Peter Kox (NL), car no. 88:
"We had a very good day, despite a few small problems including the engine this morning. This was a bit of a set back but the Veloqx Prodrive team changed it really quickly, very impressive, so we didn't lose too much time. After that we did some back-to-back testing of the rear wing and the car was running really nicely so, now at the end of the day, I can say I am really quite confident for the race."
Darren Turner (GB), car no. 80:
"The track's really cool! The first run we did, the laps seemed really long but now, at the end of the day, I'm very comfortable with it. The first 10 laps or so you are still learning - is it a left or a right next - but now I know exactly what's coming next which means that when we come back we can go straight into trying to get the car to go quicker. We tried it a little bit today but probably weren't up to speed enough to concentrate on the car as well as learning the track."
The team will be returning to France in five weeks time ready to start practice on Wednesday 11th and Thursday, 12th June in preparation for the 24 Hour event which begins at 4pm on Saturday, 15th.