LMES – Monza – Friday Morning Pre Track Action Report

The track is about to open for the LMES field as this is completed, but catching up with some of the pre-event news…

Five of Gabriele Rafanelli’s mechanics are helping the Spinnaker Dallara team here. “Yes, it’s OK to say that they will be helping at Le Mans too – I’m sure they will,” said the big man.

“I’ve been offered another programme here this morning,” commented Rafanelli, “but it’s the sponsorship, I don’t have the sponsorship.”

Congratulations then to those teams which are here, with their supportive sponsors. One good example would be X-Markets Deutsche Bank, on the Rollcentre Dallara. Rob Barff is relaxed, despite “having my Audi A2 vandalised – no, not here, at home. My girlfriend called me to tell me the news. Great. But having called the AA out, they said call Audi Assist, as the car is less than three years old. Audi were brilliant – they had a courtesy car out straight away, and took mine away. It was really only a slashed tyre. Odd, because a mate had all four slashed a couple of weeks ago.”

It was a late night for the GNM crew. Matrix – Dave Benbow and Kevin Dyer – follow the FIA GT Championship around the continent, repairing carbon parts. They repaired the GNM Saleen floor at Magny-Cours anyway, but race adventures meant another repair here, the team receiving the floor this morning. “Other repairs” from Magny-Cours filled their time last night, but the car is ready to go this morning.

John McNeil at Nasamax has an air of confidence about him these days. Ricardo has been developing new parts for the diff. of the Nasamax since the Le Mans Test Day, but the first session will be “just track learning. We’re very happy with where we are with the aero balance of the car, but we are still working on the balance of the revised chassis. It’s not the weight of the plank (24kg) as much as the way it moves the whole mass upwards by 20mm. Robbie hasn’t driven here before, so he’ll be finding his way around to start with."

Piers Masarati will be doing the same in the Sebah Porsche, but he loved the feel of the place after walking the track yesterday.

Right, track action is underway. The first significant lap is a 1:45 from Minassian in the Creation DBA - then this car and the Goh Audi in the 1:42s.


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