Is the Clock Already Ticking?

June 20, 2013

Is the Clock Already Ticking?

June 20, 2013

As teams head into the final practice and qualifying sessions for the 90th Anniversary running of the Le Mans 24 Hour race, the clock may be starting to tick for teams still looking for speed and drivers looking for more seat time.

The rainy test day earlier this month, combined with some wet conditions in Wednesday’s first session and an extended red flag that cut the second session an hour short have raised the pressure for some to improve in today’s pair of two hour sessions from 7-9 pm and 10 pm to midnight.

Today’s weather is cloudy, with temperatures in the 68-70 degree range and winds of 12-15 miles per hour, conditions that many expect will be close to what will be on tap for the race.

The cars are not on track tomorrow (Friday) and have only a brief warm-up on Saturday morning prior to the race start at 3:00 pm local time on Saturday.

While Audi paced proceedings in both of yesterday’s sessions, arch-rival Toyota lost power on the n8 Toyota TS030 hybrid when the car stropped on course mid-way through the final practice.

Wednesday’s GTE–Pro rankings saw the AF Corse Ferraris, the Porsche AG Manthey team and Aston Martin Racing all posting impressive times while the SRT Vipers and Corvette Racing team worked their respective programs.

Corvette seems confident in pursuing its own plan with heavy focus on race set ups and long runs.

Still most teams tried to cycle all drivers through their mandatory five lap evening stints to help clear the path for more focused runs this evening.

For the Vipers, returning to Le Mans after a dozen years, the track time is important. SRT Viper driver, Dominik Farnbacher noted losing an hour of track time Wednesday night impacted their plans. “As newcomers, its important time which is lost.”

One newcomer anxious for more track time is Cooper MacNeil in one of the Larbre Corvettes in GTE-AM. He twice had sessions red flagged early in his stint, leaving him with but a single clear lap for the day.

After extensive damage to its Ferrari GTE-AM entry in Wednesday’s practice, Krohn Racing has secured a spare chassis and the team is building it up in preparation for tonight’s practice sessions.

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