LMP1 Aston makes debut at Ricard
|By Gary Watkins||Saturday, April 2nd 2011, 09:43 GMT|
The new Aston Martin AMR-One prototype turned its first competitive laps at Paul Ricard today.
The petrol-powered LMP1 completed 22 laps in the third free practice session for tomorrow's opening round of the Le Mans Series at the French circuit. The Aston failed to register a timed lap in either of yesterday's practice session as a result of engine issues.
Darren Turner, who started the session in the Aston, said: "We're building up slowly and working on the fundamentals. It was just a test session for us."
Stefan Mucke, who is sharing the car this weekend with Turner and Harold Primat, set the Aston's best time of 1m53.399s. That compares with the session best set by the Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota coupe of 1m46.810s.
Turner explained that there were "huge chunks of time" to come over the course of the weekend.
"We are still mapping the engine to this circuit and this is the first time we've run on the proper Michelin tyre," he said. "Qualifying is going to be about doing laps rather than going for a lap time."
The Aston Martin Racing team has arrived at Ricard with its new Le Mans 24 Hours challenger after single-day tests at Snetterton, Pembrey and, earlier this week, Dijon. The team missed the first session while the car underwent an engine change and then had to investigate a misfire after an in-out installation lap near the end of the second practice period.