Manor Racing ‘Positive’ following Prologue testing


Manor Racing completed their first running as a fully-fledged FIA World Endurance Championship outfit with two days during the prologue at the Paul Ricard circuit on Thursday and Friday.

Manor shook down their first car and completed 242 laps over the two days, with Britons Will Stevens, James Jakes and Matt Rao plus Thai driver Tor Graves all experiencing the LMP2 Oreca 05 for the first time ahead of the new season.

Team Principal John Booth was happy with the amount of mileage run during the two days in France, and feels the team have performed well on their first time working as a unit at a race track.

“It was great to see the car run for the first time yesterday and I am really happy with the mileage that we have achieved,” said Booth. “We are now starting to really understand the car which should put us in good shape for Silverstone.

“This is the first time that this team have all worked together and they have done a great job.”

Stevens, who moved to the WEC squad after losing his Formula 1 ride with Manor at the end of 2015, was happy with his first taste of LMP2 machinery, and feels ready to race at Silverstone next month.

“It has been really nice to get to grips with an LMP2 car over the last few days,” admitted Stevens. “We have focused mainly on gathering data but we had an opportunity at the end to push a little more and I am very happy with where we have got to in such a short space of time.

“I am now looking forward to my home race at Silverstone.”

Former Verizon IndyCar Series racer Jakes felt it was a positive couple of days for the team in France after they completed most of their planned tests.

“We have had a positive couple of days considering that we came here with a brand new car,” said Jakes. “We have managed to cover a lot of miles and completed most of our test plan.

“We now switch our focus to Silverstone which I am very excited about with it being my home race.”

Rao was happy with his first time in the LMP2 machine having moved across from racing in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship last season.

“It has been good to achieve the mileage that we have, it shows the car is reliable and that the team is working well,” said Rao. “I feel that we have made good progress both personally and for the team. I am looking forward to Silverstone and the potential that is still to come.”

Graves was also positive about the two days running in France, and revealed the team were never on the look out for fast times, rather concentrating on getting used to the Oreca 05.

“It has been a good start, everything seems to be working fine and the car
is running well,”
said Graves. “We stuck to the programme and didn’t chase lap times. I am really happy with the progress we have made so far.”