A LAP OF LE MANS WITH NICOLAS LAPIERRE

Le Mans Test“After the Dunlop Curve, the braking into the Dunlop Chicane is tricky. All of the car’s weight is on the front; the back is very light and can spin off so this is one of the hardest parts to manage.

“Coming out from the right turn you can accelerate to attack the descent leading to the Esses. The right can be driven flat out before shifting down to third gear for a left turn with a slight banking.

“Tertre Rouge corner is important because it determines the speed with which you attack the Hunaudières Straight. This turn is relatively simple but it can become tricky when it rains. You really need to focus on the exit, even if it means sacrificing the entry.

“Braking at the first chicane is quite hard. You can enter the turn fast enough however, you need to be careful on the left curve, which can really slow you down if you don’t get it right.

“We keep a good speed in the left turn of the Ralentisseur Michelin. The next right can be very tricky, especially on the rain. Then you reach Mulsanne corner for a little blind braking where it is not easy to find the right landmark. There is a slight right bend before the 90° turn which is pretty tight, but you can go over the curb outside to keep some speed.

“The sequence of Indianapolis is a challenge and braking is not easy. You arrive at high speed for a left turn where you have to shift down to second gear. Straight afterwards, there is the right of Arnage which is easy to get wrong and is always slippery.

“Then you reach the Porsche Curves, certainly the most beautiful section of the circuit in terms of driving. You shift down to fourth for the first right, before keeping a relatively high speed for the left, where you have to watch out because it is relatively bumpy.

“The sequence of the Karting is rather tricky, with a curb inside the left turn. It is important not to touch it, otherwise you end up on the other side of the track, in the wall! We finish the lap with the Ford Chicanes which can be driven without difficulty.”