The first official test for the American Le Mans Series kicked off yesterday at Sebring International Raceway, we spoke to the Driver/Owner of LMPC newcomers Primetime Race Group, Joel Feinberg about day 1 at Sebring.
First thing we asked Feinberg was how he felt getting back on track after the winter break, “I was a bit under the weather today so I didn’t have a whole lot of fun.” he said, “Obviously a bad day at the track is still better than a lot of other things. I’m looking forward a better day tomorrow.
Primetime have had previous ALMS experience running in the GT2 class last year with a Dodge Viper, this year they switch to the new low-cost prototype class (LMPC), running an Oreca FLM09. “I was very pleased with the cars initial response.” admitted Feinberg, “We had spent the last few weeks at the shop working on different scenarios based on what we know of the car and we were spot on for our first outing.
Feinberg signed up Kyle Marcelli over the winter period, a young upcoming driver with a lot of ambition; he also got his first taste of the new car yesterday, “Kyle was very comfortable and got up to speed very quickly. I’m sure he will agree that the car surprised all of us right out of the box.”
We asked Feinberg how the Oreca FLM09 compared to other cars he’s driven in the past, “For me it was very much like a heavier and bigger IMSA Lites car with twice the torque. Since we are without traction control the car tends to get away from you in the slow to mid speed corners on the exit.”
The main aim of the first day was to gather information for a baseline setup and run competitive times to the GT1 class, the test went well with only one minor issue, “Our only real issues were getting used to the auto blip in the paddle shift, there is a bit of a sweetspot that took some trial and error on the big 3&4 gear downshifts.” admits Feinberg.
Primetime head out on track again today with an extensive plan, picking up the pace and running a long session for both drivers.
As a final question we asked if he had spotted any early competition in the test yet but he admitted that it was too early to say for sure, “I thinks too early to tell, there are some teams that haven’t finalized their lineup but for the most part it will come down to consistent driving and strategy since there are certain rules regarding the pit stops and driver combinations.”