Le Mans build-up continues

Nick Leventis blasts past France's most famous road sign as he heads off onto the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans
Nick Leventis blasts past France's most famous road sign as he heads off onto the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans
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The world famous Le Mans 24-Hour Race is only just over a week away, and many local teams and drivers from the Advertiser & Review region are now in France preparing for the event, write Colin and James Beckett.

Last Sunday saw all of the race’s competitors on-track for a day of testing ahead of official track action starting next Wednesday afternoon.

Fastest overall in the test was the number 2 Audi Sport-entered R18 e-tron quattro of Loic Duval, Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen.

The diesel-powered machine lapped in an impressive time that was faster than the 2012 pole position qualifying time around the Circuit de la Sarthe, a track layout that uses both parts of a private race circuit and also closed public roads.

Thornborough’s Danny Watts was in action with the Whittlebury-based Strakka Racing team and their Honda-powered HPD.

Joining Watts in the car at the test was Jonny Kane and Strakka team owner, Nick Leventis. The car set the ninth fastest time of the test.

Watts said afterwards: “The weather wasn’t great and it made progress difficult in the early sessions. However we managed to get some dry running later in the day and things went well. The engineers managed to obtain good data and we are ready for qualifying!”

The Silverstone-based G-Drive Racing and Delta-ADR Oreca 03-Nissan cars were 13th and 19th overall.

The number 26 G-Drive car driven by John Martin, Roman Rusinov and Mike Conway was the fourth fastest LMP2 car. The number 25 Delta-ADR car was just a few places further back with Tor Graves, Archie Hamilton and Shinji Nakano driving.

Brackley’s Murphy Prototypes ended up 22nd fastest with their Oreca-Nissan, with the Silverstone HVM Status GP Lola B12/80 in 27th.

Le Mans Schedule: Sunday 16th and Monday 17th: Scrutineering for competitors. Wednesday 19th: Free Practice 16:00-20:00/Qualifying 22:00-00:00. Thursday 20th: Qualifying 19:00-21:00/22:00-00.00.