24 Hours of Le MansEndurance RacingSportscars

Oreca Enjoy Positive Le Mans Test

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Nine Oreca chassis took to the Circuit de la Sarthe for the Test Day ahead of the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Despite the difficult and changing weather conditions, the nine cars, eight of which were powered by the Nissan V8 engine prepared by the company’s engine department based at Magny-Cours, had a positive session in their final chance to make changes ahead of the twice-round-the-clock race.

The Oreca chassis was clearly the one to have, as no fewer than four finished in the top five at the end of the day, with the Alpine machine setting the fastest time in the morning session.

“As always, this Test Day was important in preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said President of the Oreca Group Hugues de Chaunac. “Because of the weather, we still need to be cautions regarding the significance of the performances, but globally it’s a satisfaction. The team’s encountered no problems and the Le Mans package seems to work well. We still need to confirm this during the practice sessions during race week, and even more so during the race, where we have big ambitions for our customer teams to celebrate the 40th anniversary of ORECA.”

Elsewhere, Thiriet by TDS Racing had a busy schedule planned for the day, with the reigning European Le Mans champions having to give new drivers Ludovic Badey and Maxime Martin the opportunity to learn the circuit alongside Pierre Thiriet. The team set the fifth fastest time, behind the two G-Drive by Delta ADR Oreca 03s, with the two Alpine A450 chassis also in the top three.

“We were able to review everything we needed to,” said Team Manager Xavier Combet. “First, the drivers need to re-adapt to the track, especially Ludovic who was headed to Spa in the afternoon for GT Tour. We didn’t go looking for a fast time on a track that had not be raced on for a year, and which will evolve in the coming days. Because of the changing weather, we were able to see how the different tires function in a variety of conditions. Pierre was very comfortable on intermediates, while Maxime did a good job in the dry. The drivers are happy with the car and have confidence behind the wheel. That’s encouraging.”

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Based in Mid-Wales, James joined TCF at the start of the 2013 season, covering a range of disciplines, predominantly Motorcycle Road Racing and NASCAR. Follow him on Twitter @JCCharman
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