The start of the Le Mans event is a one day test which forms part of your qualification for the race itself, a driver who has not taken part in the event in the last three years has to do a minimum of 10 respectable laps to qualify to enter the race week. There is plenty of changes for the event we have an all new colour scheme styled by Glenn Powles a young Australian designer, the car looks fantastic. The other big change is the introduction of Lotus F1 test driver and former Le Mans series champion Jan Charouz, Jan replaces Robbie Kerr in the car and brings with him wealth of experience with five previous Le Mans under his belt, the most recent of which was in LMP2 last year with the Oak Team.
The team was taking the opportunity to run new parts that we plan to start the race with, effectively running the parts in so we prove them out, these parts are then checked after the test and put to one side ready for the race so we start on parts that have low mileage on them. In terms of running, the car is very different in Le Mans spec, you run a different aero package with reduced downforce and drag for the high speed straights so there is plenty to learn by drivers and engineers. The drivers all run in the car in the morning just to acclimatize themselves but the early signs are that we have a reasonable platform to work from, in the afternoon we try some different set-ups with the car to make improvements and try and optimize the performance of the new construction Dunlop tyre. We end the day 6th in class which is a good baseline start for race week and most importantly we had no problems and no damage to the car.
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