While we knew that Patrice Lafargue’s team was well prepared for the Le Mans 24-Hour Race, the second best time in the LMP2 category set by Paul Loup Chatin means their sights have been raised before the big week at the Le Mans 24-Hour Race with the main race taking place on 16th and 17th June.
Less than three hundredths of a second… That was the gap between the Oreca #48 IDEC SPORT from the best time in the LMP2 category after the test day for the Le Mans 24-Hour Race. IDEC SPORT’s time against the top names in the world endurance championship (WEC) and the best drivers in the world shows how much progress the team has made with less than a fortnight to go before the start of the race.
The director of racing, Nicolas Minassian, was of course pleased with how this test day went: “It was very positive. We ran through everything we wanted to look at. We worked methodically and the team once again showed off its know-how. We had the time to look at all the adjustments. The car drove without any mechanical problems and the drivers were quite simply perfect. This is a boost for the week ahead. We are keeping to our schedule for Le Mans and that means we can feel somewhat relaxed,” declared the former racer, who twice made it to the Le Mans 24-Hour Race podium.
As for the drivers, Paul Lafargue, Memo Rojas and Paul Loup Chatin agree about the qualities and adjustments made to the Oreca #48. Even if he was the first to take the wheel to test out the tyres, it was the latter who covered the 13.6 kilometre track in Le Mans in 3’27’’252. Paul-Loup Chatin immediately felt right about the legendary Le Mans track. “We have an efficient car. We can be fast without getting scared. My co-drivers had an excellent day. We settled in without making any mistakes. It was an ideal day,” explained the 26-year old driver, even though he is well aware that everything is still to play for: “This was a good step, but there is a long way to go before the finish of the race in a fortnight and we have to remain focused.”
Memo Rojas was also very pleased with the work done by IDEC SPORT. “We have been competitive on all the circuits since the start of the season and we are continuing to push forward. We finished the test day with the second best time. That is both incredible but doesn’t count. What counts is the big race and that is when we’ll see who wins. We know we can do it, but we have to limit the problems as much as we can and that is what we did today,” added the Mexican driver.
This was echoed by what Paul Lafargue, the Silver driver in the IDEC SPORT trio, told us: “The Oreca is amazing. It’s probably the best car I have ever driven. She really drives well with the Michelin tyres. Usually I prefer cars with more support, but this one is fantastic in spite of using the Le Mans kit (designed for high speeds),” explained Paul Lafargue with a smile on his face. “The times don’t tell us that much because of the number of cars on the track, but I must say I’m pretty happy.”
The compliment of the day came from Memo Rojas: “I have been lucky to be able to drive for some of the top teams during my career and won some very big races. Today, I’m proud to be part of IDEC SPORT. I trusted Nicolas Minassian. I knew I was joining a team on the way up. I can now say that IDEC SPORT is a truly pro team. They are one of the best in the European Le Mans Series and I hope we’ll be able to show what we can do in the Le Mans 24-Hour Race. We’re up for it!”
IDEC SPORT hopes to see you on Thursday 10th June, Place de la République in Le Mans for the legendary weigh-in, a special opportunity for fans to get close to the drivers and cars. You will also be able to admire the LMP2 #48 IDEC SPORT at the pitwalk (Wed 13th from 10 to 3 p.m.) and meet the drivers during the autograph session on Tuesday 12th June from 5 to 6.30.
Follow everything that is going on with some special arrangements put in place by IDEC and don’t miss the magic of the Le Mans 24-Hour Race on Facebook: IDEC SPORT Racing, Twitter: @IDECSportRacing and Instagram: idecsport_racing_officiel17