Mans Test Day – Sunday Report 4
A red flag
after 5pm, just when some teams were getting ready to go out
for a quick one, left the chargers lined up in the pit lane,
raring to go.
had dumped oil at the Porsche Curves and poor Frank Biela was
first on the scene: he left the Audi Sport UK car in rather a
state. "I was at the last 'left' of the Porsche Curves,
shifted down to fourth, but before turning in I lost the car.
Once I touched the grass, I was heading for the wall. When I
got out of the car I saw a flag."
is heading back to Germany tonight, the right rear having taken
the force of the impact.
The air temperature
has cooled noticeably, and we’re expecting Jan Lammers
to go for a real time, for the Intersport Lola to go for a proper
time, for the Bentleys and Audis to go faster – perhaps
just about everyone.
did a great job to be ready to go just as the lunch break began,
but their programme for much of the afternoon was to get ten
laps in for Jon Field and Rick Sutherland. “I just couldn’t
go for it,” said the latter. Jon Field had to do his ten
with some kind of turbo-shifter problem, but Duncan Dayton and
the team boss were hoping to both have a chance at fast laps
in the closing moments. The morning engine failure was suspected
to be related to fuel…
completed his ten laps, no trouble at all. “Laurence explained
that if I went off, I wouldn’t come back for the race.
I didn’t go off!” The good news from the black team
is that the LMP has run faultlessly all day.
PK Sport with their #78 911. “I would have liked this morning’s
front end and this afternoon’s rear,” said Piers
Masarati, while David Warnock was just a touch disappointed with
his times, but enjoyed himself nonetheless. “I passed a
lot of people out there this afternoon, that was fun. Maybe there
were a lot of people going slowly?” The front end was just “pointy”.
Warnock then settled right in late on and was very pleased with
his times: "Quicker than last year with rubber that had
already done 16 laps!" Robin Liddell seemed very keen to
improve on a 4:16 in the closing half hour - which he did fractionally.
He was happy too, using race tyres all day. The Scot was sure
that a 4:11 was on with qualifiers, which he'll have next month.
And a little more power too: today's engine was a conservative
problems were a “gasket or a liner on #64, we’re
not sure yet,” said Graham Nash and a slight lack of straightline
speed with the Erdos / Newton / Pickering car, so a 4:03 was
a god time from the Brazilian. Mike Newton looked as though he
was going to get some more seat time right at the end. Which
he did, but was less happy with the H pattern gearbox currently
in this car, preferring the FIA GT car with its sequential.
Less than ten
minutes to go and we’re waiting for any improvements…as
the Nasamax Reynard returns to the track, fully repaired.
more like it: five minutes left, Bentley #7 – Tom Kristensen
- sets a 3:34.820. JC-W had already popped in a 3:48.983. No
Jon Field blitz by the look of things, as Duncan Dayton pits
with moments left (a 3:58). Field does go out, but not for a
flying lap. Lammers was going to go for what turned out to be
second fastest, but met traffic and then broke a driveshaft.
Gommendy gained five seconds to end up eighth fastest - very
left and #8 Bentley starts its last flying lap….this could
be fun. It’s Herbert and it’s a….3:39, which
is a touch disappointing. Traffic.
So the Bentley
of Tom Kristensen takes the ‘pole’ (for want of a
better word), a whopping four seconds quicker than anyone else. "I
have no doubt there is more to come," said TK. Not uneventful
in other ways though for Team Bentley. The 'puncture' on Mulsanne
was actually a rear suspension component failure, for Dindo Capello.
This afternoon, Mark Blundell had a puncture in the fifth gear
right hander at Indianapolis. he kept it out of the barriers.
fastest in GTS with their afternoon improvement in the #88 car
with the fresh engine (Enge, a 3:57.180), 1.7 seconds quicker
than the #50 Corvette with its fresh engine.
/ Dumfries / Shimoda DBA remained fastest by a mile in 675 with
its morning 3:47, while in GT, the Petersen / Job car wasn't
at the top of the list, because Jorg Bergmeister set a 4:08 on
qualifying tyres for The Racers Group, Marc Lieb getting into
the 4:13s but not the 12s or 11s - but not having a run on qualifying
tyres. The Risi Ferraris were fourth and sixth, sandwiching the
PK Sport Porsche.
It reads as it read at the start of the day: that is, the first, invited
50 are back for the race in June. There was no question of anyone being
dropped for a poor performance today.
are the GTs matching 2002 pace, while the other classess aren't?
The answer, we understand, is that the Ferraris have improved
dramatically on last year's performance here, while the Porsche
engine hasn't really been handicapped by slightly smaller restrictors,
because the induction system itself is the limiting factor. This
year's cars might even have more torque than a year ago.