The final session of the Le Mans Series Test Days at Paul Ricard came to an end at 5 pm on Monday afternoon. Like all the previous sessions the Team Oreca Matmut-AIM team set the fastest time. There were some other highlights this session though.
As the final session got underway at 2 pm it soon became clear that the Team Oreca Matmut-AIM Courage-Oreca LC70 would be fast again. Eventually Nicolas Lapierre set the fastest lap time of the session, beating the 21 other cars that took part this afternoon.
Still running its 2008-spec rear wing it remains to be seen of course what the team can do with the 2009-spec wing mounted on the car. Best of the compliant cars was the Lola-Aston Martin of Speedy Racing Team Sebah, setting the second fastest time of the session. The second Team Oreca car took third place, ahead of the lonely Aston Martin Racing Lola-Aston Martin, which had its moment as well when it slowly returned to the pit during the session.
With the Porsche RS Spyder of Team Essex sidelined after its crash it was the Speedy Racing Team Sebah Lola Judd that took over the honours of being the fastest car. The gap to the second fastest car in LMP2, Quifel-ASM Team’s Ginetta-Zytek 09S was 2.1 seconds. Pegasus Racing managed to set the third fastest lap, though it was 4.2 seconds behind the Lola.
In GT1 only Luc Alphand Aventures and IPB Spartak Racing took to the track this session. The Corvette was clearly the fastest of the two during the final session, beating its rival by a full two seconds. The IPB Spartak Racing Lamborghini caused a red flag when it came to an end at the far end of the track. Dutchman Jos Menten was supposed to do some laps in the GT1 car, but the failure prevented him from running the car.
Team Felbermayr Proton’s Porsche 997 GT3 RSR was the fastest in GT2. The 2009 Porsche beat the Hankook Farnbacher Racing Ferrari by just two tenths of a second. Snoras Spyker Squadron impressed with an amazing third fastest lap time. Despite a small setback when the Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2R came to a halt on the middle of the track (causing a red flag), Jeroen Bleekemolen really pushed the car and set a lap time that was just over three tenths slower than the fastest Porsche time and which, considering the ‘non-compliant’ Farnbacher car, put them in front of all Ferrari’s.
A small highlight in GT2 was the brief appearance of the Lamborghini Gallardo GT2 car. Albert von Thurn und Taxis was supposed to share the car today with Christophe Bouchut, but the car only went out to do an installation lap and was back in the pit box without setting a single lap time.
JMW Motorsport’s weekend could have ended much worse than “only fifth” in the final session. The car caught fire in the pit lane, but prompt action by team and fire fighters prevented the car from being engulfed in flames.
As the clock showed 5 pm the session finished. This also meant the ending of the first official Le Mans Series weekend of the year. Teams continued packing their stuff, while several drivers, mechanics and team managers made their way home. Next meeting: Barcelona in April.
11 – Team Oreca Matmut – 1:41.192
13 – Speedy Racing Team Sebah – 1:42.776
10 – Team Oreca Matmut – 1:43.069
009 – Aston Martin Racing – 1:43.449
23 – Strakka Racing – 1:43.617
12 – Signature-Plus – 1:44.324
33 – Speedy Racing Team Sebah – 1:46.342
40 – Quifel-ASM Team – 1:48.443
38 – Pegasus Racing – 1:50.597
24 – OAK Racing – 1:50.781
25 – RML – 1:52.705
72 – Luc Alphand Aventures – 1:53.933
55 – IPB Spartak Racing – 1:56.197
88 – Team Felbermayr Proton – 1:57.988
89 – Hankook-Team Farnbacher – 1:58.157
85 – Snoras Spyker Squadron – 1:58.325
76 – IMSA Performance Matmut – 1:58.702
92 – JMW Motorsport – 2:00.286
75 – IMSA Performance Matmut – 2:00.430
81 – Easyrace – 2:00.764
84 – Team Modena – 2:00.901
99 – JMB Racing – 2:01.815
79 – Reiter Engineering – No time
31 – Team Essex – No time
51 – ARC Bratislava-Kaneko – No time
87 – Drayson Racing – No time
007 – Aston Martin Racing – No time