The 71st Le Mans 24 Hours
Race Morning Warmup

It's stuffy and overcast this morning with a 30% (maybe 50%) chance of rain during the day - and Sunday likely to be hotter but more settled.

The 45 minute warm up saw all 49 surviving entries completing at least one lap, although in some cases it was only one lap...

Bentleys were first and second fastest, 3:35 and 3:37, then two of the three Audis, the #16 Gommendy Dome and the third Audi. If the warm up is a true guide to race pace, we'd take a stab at 3:37 for the Bentleys (on clear laps) and 3:39s for the Audis. That might be pessimistic for the Bentleys, as the Johnny Herbert 3:35 this morning was definitely with a reasonable fuel load. "We intend to push from start to finish," said Team Manager John Wickham.

In GTS, #80 Veloqx-Prodrive Ferrari and #53 Corvette both set 3:58s....interesting.

Racers Group was fastest in GT, with a 4:12. The Pagani set a 4:13 (see below).

David Hart: "We put in an engine with 25 bhp more and tried it on the airfield last night and it broke immediately. We put the old engine back in, and this one is still stronger than the one at Sebring."

Frank Biela: "If it was a full wet race, changeable is bad for everybody. If you're caught out on the circuit on slicks when the rain comes it's very bad news, as we saw a couple of years ago."

Ukyo Katayama: "The new engine has got lots of power but we've not had nearly enough time for testing and the team will be taking a very steady approach to the race."

John Nielsen: "We'll set our own race pace and do what we need to do (to finish and win 675). We have enough in hand to increase that pace if we need to. There's no need to go chasing the 900s."

Raceday for Team NASAMAX got off to the worst possible start when they suffered an engine failure shortly after the start of the session. Romain Dumas managed to get the car around the full lap, but the engine was 'ready for changing' by the time he'd limped back to the pits.

A four to five hour job may take longer because of heat damage to the wiring loom. Less than seven hours before the start of the race. At least it happened at the the start of the warm-up...

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