Le Mans Test Day

Last weekend, the roads were closed off and Circuit de la Sarthe once again came to life for test day.  This was the first time for Audi and Peugeot to go head to head with their new Le Mans competitors – the R18 and the updated 908.

The top 5 competitors were separated by less than a second with Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Dindo Capello topping the time sheets.

Audi R18 3:27.687

Audi R18 3:27.815

Peugeot 908 3:27.876

Audi R18 3:37.878

Peugeot 908 3:28.304

The fastest LMP2 competitor was the Signatech Nissan – the team that includes Lucas Ordonez from Gran Turismo Academy fame.  They finished with a fast lap of 3:42.992.  They weren’t fastest by much – Team Oreca Matmut ran an identical car and were .063 seconds slower!

To the surprise of many in the community, the fastest GT car was the new Hankook Farnbacher Ferrari 458 Italia that turned out a 3:59.966 lap.  This car is fast right out of the box.  But will it be reliable?

While the factory Corvette wasn’t there, the privateer Larbre Competition had their C6 – ZR1 and they turned in a 4:04.222.

Also on hand was the new Lotus Evora that ran a 4:09.692.

There’s a lot of speculation on whether Audi or Peugeot ran their fastest this weekend.  Do you push the car flat-out in an attempt to get the most out of the car or do you hold a little bit back in an attempt to fool the competition?  Ultimately, it’s one thing to be at the top of the time sheet on test day, it’s another to be at the top of the podium on race day.  45 days and counting.

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