Team Essex - Top 3 in training session.
For the first time this season, Team Essex faced direct competition during their two 60 minute free practise runs in the Le Mans Series at the Spanish Catalunya circuit. Both of which saw the team within the top 3 positions
The first session ended with a third best lap time in the LMP2 class, but the distance up to the leading car, the Van Merksteijn Motorsports Porsche, showed a gap of two and a half seconds. However, the second session showed that Team Essex came out on top, being the fastest Porsche team on the track, trailing behind the Zytek team Barazi Epsilon, driven by fellow dane Juan Barazi and Michael Verges, by only half a second.
“It’s a bit hard to judge where we stand at the moment, because there were so many cars on the track at the same time, making it very hard for us to get a flying lap. Especially the GT2 cars are very far from our lap times” Casper Elgaard reports. “The track here in Barcelona fits the LMP2 cars very well, due to it’s combinations of long straights and turns, while it makes it equally harder for the GT and LMP1 cars, also on the track at the same time. Al that put together makes it hard to set decent lap times”
Team Essex has not experienced any severe technical problems yet with the Porsche RS Spyder, but the car still lacks a bit in the set-up department.
“The car is not set-up properly as of yet, so that is why we are spending the evening analyzing the incoming data so that we can find a better set-up scenario for tomorrow” John Nielsen explains. “We have chosen not to focus on the qualifying, because it is not that useful to us when the race is so long and for many hours. Instead we are working extra hard on finding the perfect set-up for the race, making us able to drive two stints without changing tyres, saving us around 12-14 seconds at the pit stops.”
The first of these 3 days in Barcelona also confirms the earlier Team Essex speculation that there are many contenders to the top 3 positions. Even so, the team is staying very positive toward their chances in a race where heavy and fast traffic is expected to cause some trouble here and there.
The circuit web site: www.circuitcat.com
The series web site: www.lemans-series.com