ORECA stays on top at Paul Ricard
|By Gary Watkins||Tuesday, March 9th 2010, 11:29 GMT|
ORECA came out on top on the second day of the official pre-season Le Mans Series test at Paul Ricard.
The French squad's AIM-engined chassis was fastest in the hands of Soheil Ayari in both of Monday's session. The ORECA team regular set the best time of the two-day test late in the afternoon.
His 1m42.963s lap was 0.8s better than the second fastest time of the day set by Loic Duval in ORECA's Peugeot 908 HDi turbodiesel.
ORECA team manager Philippe Leloup said: "We've worked a lot on the car since Le Mans last year, look at our performance at Silverstone [which the team won], and we've improved the car more over the winter.
"We worked through a tyre programme with our new partner Dunlop and the tyres worked well in the conditions."
Duval, who got his first taste of the 908 HDi during the official test, recorded his best, a 1m43.756s, during the morning. The two Rebellion Racing Lola-Judd coupes came close to his time in the afternoon in the hands of Marco Andretti (1m44.025s) and Jean-Christophe Boullion (1m44.264s).
Neel Jani, who shares with Andretti and Nicolas Prost, said: "We finally got the tyre to work in these [cold] conditions. I found a different tyre that worked, we focussed on the set-up and then Marco was able to set the time. We are really happy now."
The LMP2 division was headed on day two by the British Strakka team's HPD (nee Acura) driven by Danny Watts. His fastest lap of 1m46.174s set in the morning was the best LMP2 time of the test, four tenths ahead of Olivier Pla's 1m46.584s recorded right at the end of the day.
The GT1 division was headed on Monday by Bas Leinders in the best of the Marc VDS Ford GTs. His 1m57.711s was four tenths behind the best GT1 lap of the test set by Stefan Mucke on Sunday aboard the Fischer-run Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DBR9.
The ProSpeed Porsche squad headed the GT2 times. Marco Holzer ended up fastest on a 1m59.213s just one tenth ahead of Pierre Kaffer in the CRS Racing Ferrari.