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Interview with David Richards

The new Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 coupe had a mixed debut in Le Mans Series testing at Paul Ricard on Sunday. The car showed very promising pace, but one of the two chassis was written off when Tomas Enge had a high-speed spin into the barriers.

After the session Aston Martin Racing chairman David Richards gave an update on progress so far.

Q. How would you assess you first day of running with the Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 coupe at Paul Ricard?

Lola-Aston Martin, Paul Ricard testing March 2009David Richards: We have a great starting point: the car looks the part and sounds great. The first session was very encouraging because we had very straightforward runs with both cars. It was quick out of the box, which was good, too. There are no diesels here, so there are no benchmark times, which is disappointing.

Q. Is the car Tomas Enge crashed a write off?

DR: Yes. It stopped with a 13g impact, so it was a fairly serious knock.

Q. Is that a setback to the programme?

DR: Everything is down to time in this programme. We were behind anyway and we have lost track time, which is not what we needed.

Q. Are you worried that the recent spat with Lola will affect the programme in any way?

DR: It doesn't worry me in the slightest. We are a customer and we have an agreement to buy parts. I am sure there will be no problem in us receiving those parts.

Q. Do you still plan to give the car an Aston Martin type number?

DR: Aston Martin will naturally want to give the car an Aston reference. I'm assuming they will want to call it something that follows on from the DBR1 etc.

Q. What is the status of your third entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours?

DR: It is still a work in progress. We have set criteria which means we are only interested in having the third car if it can be fully competitive.

Daytona Competition
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