Balfe Saleen Shaken Down At Donington
It was a faultless shakedown for the Balfe Motorsport Saleen S7R at Donington Park yesterday, March 29, just 24 hours after the car hit the ground following a full, close season rebuild.

Shaun Balfe took to the wheel of the car for what was intended to be just a few exploratory laps. It didn’t turn out that way with the session extending to just over 60 trouble-free laps.

“The car ran faultlessly all day. We’re really pleased to get off to a good start with it,” said Balfe. “We made a cautious start and we were hampered in getting some longer runs as there were a lot of red flags during the day. But our objective was to make sure that everything we have done over the winter worked and we came away from the day more than happy with the results.”

It was the first opportunity for Balfe to properly sample the Saleen’s carbon brakes, a big step up from last year’s GT2 / Group 2 Mosler:

“On the first lap out of the pits everything felt really good,” he said. “It took some time to get used to the brakes, especially as when we tried the car before Christmas it was hard to get any heat into anything. It’s certainly an area that you can gain a lot of time over lap and it was certainly an eye opening experience today. We just have to get more miles on the car and start to get it sorted, set-up wise, now. That’s the next plan for the team, we’ve got a lot of things to work through now that we’ve got the car back together the way we wanted it.”

The team will now move on to an exclusive day on the Silverstone South circuit next week to put more miles on the car and give Jamie Derbyshire his first drive of the Saleen. After that, it will be two days at Dijon for the FIA GT media/test days.

“We’ve noticed that the Saleens that have been at the high profile tests so far this year (Zakspeed and Oreca) have been right on the pace so we are looking forward to getting to grips with the car and going up against some big names during the season.”

You can read read about Balfe Motorsport’s 2006 season right here on dailysportscar in the free to view section.


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