24h Le Mans
24 Hours of Le Mans – How was Test Day?
The Test Day for the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans ended yesterday at 19:00. The session is always an opportunity to perfect race preparations and gather precious data.
The #708 Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR clocked the fastest lap of the day – 03:29.115 thanks to Olivier Pla, visibly on form. There was cause for celebration in the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus camp. “It was a great day for the team. It was important to do as many kilometres as possible and gather lots of data. The car was fine right from the first run. We were quite surprised actually,” said Pla. "We improved throughout the session. We have nothing to hide and didn’t hold anything back. Test Day times are not necessarily significant though. We know we have to last 24 hours, and that’s the hardest part."
The drivers were surprised by the car given that it is new. “It’s a well-designed car. You discover something new each time out, and its coming on nicely. It’s a good sign this early on." Pla’s teammate Franck Mailleux, agrees. “It’s already reliable, which is incredible at this stage. There’s just an issue with the brakes, but that is understandable in the beginning.” Third crew member Luis Felipe Derani is more reserved: “It was a great day and Oliver did a super job. But we know that these results don’t mean much and that Toyota hasn’t revealed its full potential. For now, we are happy with our performance even though the goal is to do the best job possible next weekend and last the full 24 hours."
In LMP2, Paul-Loup Châtin (IDEC Sport) topped the timesheets at the end of the day, on 03:31.102. “It was a great end to a great day. But we still have a long way to go.” Good results, in a hotly disputed class, this year more than ever. “LMP2 is going to be even tougher than usual. The future of endurance is bright and it’s definitely a class in which you have to shine."
Asked about the sister car, the #17 Oreca 07-Gibson which was involved in a collision, the Frenchman sympathises: “It’s not the best start to the week, that’s for sure. They were pushed and crashed where there was no tyre wall. It didn’t hit hard but enough to have to replace the bodyshell. I hope their week improves.”
Another great performance from Kévin Estre in the Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Porsche GT Team. The Frenchman set the best time in LMGTE Pro with 03:52.901. "We had an excellent day. First, the track had plenty of grip. The race organisers are to thank for that. The car handled well from the start and we now have plenty of data to plough through. We learned a lot today.”
In LMGTE Am Proton Competition took the upper hand with the #99 Porsche 911 RSR-19. A delighted Florian Latorre booked the fastest lap on 03.54.472. "We are happy. It was my first time in the 911 RSR-19 and we made no mistakes. It’s a good sign for the rest of the week.”
Track action resumes Wednesday with the first free practice starting at 14:00 local time.