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LMS - Official Tests Bugatti 2009

22-23 April 2009
LMS - Test ufficiali BUgatti 2009
26/04/2009 -

The two-day’s official tests, which took place at the Bugatti circuit of Le Mans, was the occasion to see a big number of debutantes taking to the track, together with some of the series main protagonists: alongside the Pescarolo with Bouillon and Tinseau and the Lola Aston Martin with the Speedy Racing team Sebah, already protagonists in Barcelona, we saw the debut in GT2 of the Endurance China Team and the Team Seattle this year entering the list of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Ferrari F430. Patrick Dempsey, the American actor (Dr Sheperd in “Grey’s Anatomy”) earlier with the Mazda RX8 in the Grand Am championship, and Don Kitch Junior alternated at the wheel of the Ferrari F430. The Team Seattle has made practice in both days, while the China Team limited to Saturday only, concentrating, in particular, on various setups. Their time turned out rather far from those of the other present GT2.

Beside them the cars of the Formula Le Mans 09, propaedeutic category intended for young drivers willing to compete in endurance races. There were four new prototypes designed by the Oreca entering this testing session, two entered by the DAMS and two by Boutsen Energy Racing: fitted with a V8 engine of 6200 cc able to reach around 430 hp, have proved a very good potential performance, with a gap of 3:500 only from the Porsche RS Spyder of the Essex and showing an excellent reliability which allowed the two teams to eat up for overall seven hundred laps.

Among the series regular cars, the Pescarolo took also a second new car to the track, on the occasion only given to Jouanny: there were many laps for the newcomer during the morning sessions, while in the afternoon sessions the car has been stopped at pit stops for a long time to allow the engineers to remake its complete balancing and set-up, in front of about tens of fans interested in the revision. On the contrary, the twin car was the undisputed protagonist of the two-day’s testing race, getting the best overall time of 1:23:676, posted by Tinseau during the last available session. It was the Lola Aston Martin the only car to run at the same time but it ended the tests earlier because of the accident happened on Saturday morning to the other car of the Speedy Racing; once arrived at the Dunlop bridge, the Lola-Judd driven by Kane slid away under braking and hit the protection wall hard (see the picture in the gallery). The prototype went out almost destroyed. A terrible blow for the team that turned out unexplainably more competitive in the quite new LMP1 than with the LMP2 already driven last year.

On the contrary, as it was moreover envisaged, the Porsche RS Spyder of the Essex has stood out against the others for one second faster than the Zytek of the G.A.C. Racing team, proving to be the car to win in view of the 24 Hours in June.

Ferrari Hankook posted the best partial time in GT2 of the category, though the team concentrated a good part of the sessions on testing the endurance of the Korean tyres. Behind it the Aston Martin of the Drayson Racing, was still late above all on the single lap.

Eventually, we have to point out many pit stops simulations made by all the teams according to new rules and a few digressions in the escape ways, caused by the dirt taken to the track by the Clios of the Chinese championship, which were present at the Bugatti circuit in this week end.

Next meeting on 8 – 10 May for the 1000 km of Spa, always together with Connectingrod.


article by Giacomo Zanello
Photo Giacomo Zanello

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