Le Mans, Qualif 1 : Drivers Quotes

Car #7 (Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima)
Free practice: 5th (3mins 28.421secs), 53 laps
Qualifying 1: 4th (3mins 27.191secs) 25 laps

Alex Wurz: “It’s just the first day so it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions. Free practice went reasonably well for us and qualifying too. I had to end the session a few minutes early, before I finished my long run, due to a systems glitch but that is not a major issue. Generally we are on target for where we expect to be. There is still a bit of a gap to the fastest cars but for our first time in Le Mans we can be really happy so far.”

Nicolas Lapierre: “We decided to push a bit when there was still some light on the track. We did quite a good lap, although I had a bit of traffic in the last sector and I made a little mistake on the last corner. I think it was a good first shot. We can still work on the set-up and it’s positive we had both cars running throughout qualifying so we get a lot of data. Tomorrow we have a lot of time to think about what changes we can make to improve the lap times for the remainder of qualifying. We need to keep working and focus on that.”

Kazuki Nakajima: “It was the first time for me to try a night session and actually it was quite tricky with a lot of traffic and a dirty track. It was also difficult to switch on the tyres. But I think it has been a good start in general and Nico did a good lap time. Now we can work on improvements for tomorrow. The team at TMG has worked so hard to get two cars ready for this week so I hope we can give something back during this weekend.”

Car #8 (Stéphane Sarrazin, Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi)
Free practice: 6th (3mins 30.162secs), 5 laps
Qualifying 1: 6th (3mins 28.295secs), 26 laps

Stéphane Sarrazin: “I had a good feeling today. This session was important to me because these were my first laps since Le Mans last year. Due to the issue in practice, I had to start with a night run so I tried to find my rhythm gradually and take it step by step. I was able to set good lap times quickly so I am satisfied. The handling of the car feels good and that means I can push. We still have some details to improve, including the balance but the car is already efficient and I think we can go faster.”

Anthony Davidson: “I had a lot of traffic tonight. I know drivers often say that after a qualifying session but this time it really hurt my quickest lap. Anyway, overall this session was good and I have a positive feeling. We have improved the car since the test day; we have more grip and it is more consistent so that is a good sign. We have to optimise some points but it is getting better and better. Le Mans by night is still exciting so I am looking forward to final qualifying where I am sure we can improve our lap times.”

Sébastien Buemi: “I didn’t do so many laps but my first impressions are good. I made a good start and everything has gone well. I simply need to drive more tomorrow so I can get more laps on this circuit and increase my experience. It was nice to discover Le Mans at night; the atmosphere is really great. I was pleased to see the track is better lit than some others which helps a driver. Now we look forward to final qualifying; I think we are heading in the right direction.”