Le Mans 1000 Km - Warm Up Report
What have You Changed? - "Nothing"

"Oh, except the brake balance." That was RfH race engineer Ian Foley this morning, explaining the 'changes' to the Dome, for the wet track. "It's a myth that you need to change the set up for a wet track. If the car works in the dry it will work in the wet."

Andy Wallace proved that by being fastest at the start of the sesion, but explained that the Dome's sixth best at the end - with the track getting less wet as cars cleared the water - was not representative. "I got a puncture at the rear: actually it was a rock that went right through the thickest part of the tyre, that is through the full wet tread. We'd have been right up there without that."


The Lister - first time ever on a wet track - was third, thanks to Tom Coronel going out third. JC-W set a lap that was going to be six seconds quicker than his best recorded time, but he pitted on that lap "because my 15 minutes was up."

This session was changed, as have been all the others - from 30 minutes to 45.

So the Audi - no changes to the set-up there either - was quickest, a TK lap towards the end, but less than a second faster than the Pescarolo Courage.

dailysportscar.comThe Yves Courage 675 Courage was fastest in 675 for the first time this week, the car perhaps better balanced than the two main class rivals. The Viper was fastest in GTS, and Alex Caffi / Johnny Mowlem in GT. Tim Sugden was struggling a little with that hard brake pedal in the Veloqx Care Racing 550.

Mowlem was actually second quickest overall in the opening moments, and he was very happy with the Yokohama wets - as he had been with the race tyres he used for qualifying. "We don't have a qualifying tyre."

Robin Liddell was right up there too in the opening ten minutes in the PK Porsche, explaining that the GT cars work so well in the tricky conditions because of their narrower tyres, the fact that the prototypes don't have as much downforce at slower speeds, the GT cars are softer and the Porsches in particular have excellent traction.

dailysportscar.comThe Spyker - the new 019 chassis here - has never run in the wet before....and Spyker race cars in general have only run in the wet once, when Hans Hugenholtz drove in the French GT Championship last year.

"The set up is OK, but it's a guess," said Norman Simon. "It's such a dramatically different car underneath that we're starting out on next year this weekend."

In summary, it was wet, slippery and gravel strewn. "Let's see who has got their shit together," said one experienced observer.

Look at the vortex on the Prodrive-built 550.

Audi and Dome have, Pescarolo has, Lister and Panoz seem to have, Larbre and Seikel have - and suddenly the likes of Tinseau and Collard are doing very well in GT.

This race is more than ever likely to throw up the unexpected. A lottery? It's going to be fun - for us anyway.



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