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Oreca Impress In First Qualifying At Le Mans

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Oreca topped the LMP2 time sheets at the end of the first qualifying session for the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The #26 G-Drive Racing by Delta ADR Oreca 03 of John Martin, Mike Conway and Roman Rusinov set the quickest time in the LMP2 class, while the team’s sister car ended the session in fourth. Three other Orecas ended the day in the top ten, including the Alpine A450, built and designed by Oreca.

Many teams opted to work on set-ups during the opening practice session due to difficult weather conditions at the Le Mans Test Day, and were forced to optimise their on-track time as both practice and qualifying were interrupted by several red flag periods.

“Honestly, I could have done an even better lap on my third attempt,” said Martin, the only LMP2 driver to set a sub-3 minute, 40 second time. “I didn’t drive very much during the Test Day and evening practice session. I’m still discovering several aspects and I’m using my experience from last year. The laptimes look good, but I think we can still improve the car for the race. That’s a good thing, because it means we still have a good margin for improvement.”

The final red flag of qualifying, which also resulted in the session being shortened by 16 minutes, was caused by the Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca, but not before they were able to set a time good enough for a provisional seventh place time. The Alpine A450 set the seventh best time, followed by Murphy Prototypes in ninth.

Qualifying continues on Thursday evening from 7-9pm and a final night session from 10-midnight to set the final grid of the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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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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