Herbert hails Bentley pace for Le Mans

Bentley's star driver Johnny Herbert has said that third place in Saturday's Sebring 12 Hours has built a solid platform from which to launch a bid for victory in June's Le Mans 24 Hours

Herbert hails Bentley pace for Le Mans

Herbert, partnered by former grand prix racers Mark Blundell and David Brabham, raced through the pack after being forced to start at the back of the grid due to a technical infringement in qualifying. He thinks its chances at Le Mans have been enhanced by such a reliable and quick race pace in Florida.

"I think we have an excellent base for Le Mans," said Herbert. "It was difficult to start from the back of the grid, but it was a good opportunity to see how the car handles in traffic. We had a few problems with some minor damage, costing us time in the pits, otherwise the car ran faultlessly the whole way through. The pace of the car is there, but we have some things to work on."

Blundell was unable to complete as many laps as he wanted to due to recent surgery on his shoulder: "I did not get much time in the car. Johnny and David did a great job to handle most of the driving. It was little difficult for me, I had shoulder surgery in December, so I am grateful to the guys for going the distance."

The second Bentley, which finished fourth, lost seven minutes in the pits after Guy Smith hit a Porsche which spun in front of him. Team-mate Tom Kristensen went on to set the fastest lap of the race as it regained the lost time.

"The car ran great, we were very unlucky with the early incident apart from that it has been really good," said Kristensen. "I have a lot of confidence in the car and the team. It would have been nice to have both cars on the podium, but this is an excellent start for Le Mans."

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