After the dominant display at Le Castellet, Greaves Motorsport headed with a quiet confidence to Le Mans for the Official Test Day for the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The only change to the line up was the addition of Alex Brundle to the driver roster. He was taking advantage of the rule that allowed four drivers to participate in the Test. Not only was it an opportunity for Alex to drive an LM P2 car in race conditions, it also allowed him to complete the ten lap driver qualification requirement. Also subject to the ‘rookie’ rule was former Le Mans GT class winner, Tom Kimber-Smith! Tom’s absence from the race for four years meant that his former success at La Sarthe did not count.
Tom’s response to this was to post a lap time of 3:43.601, fastest LM P2 time in the first session and 12th overall. Even taking into account the best efforts in the generally accepted quicker second session this stunning lap was third best of the day.
Less good news for the team was that Karim Ojjeh suffered a blow out of the left rear tyre on the high speed section of public roads leading to the Indianapolis corner. Karim managed to control the car at an estimated 280kmph and the Zytek sustained only superficial damage during its trip into the gravel bed.
The team set to and repaired the damage to the extent that Gary Chalandon was able to complete his stint after the lunch break. Then Alex Brundle completed ten laps in the Zytek-Nissan, recording a best time of 3:45.520, which ended up as third best time in LM P2 class during the second session. There were stories doing the rounds in the Media Centre about Alex and his father Martin racing together at Le Mans but for the present all that was just speculation.
Team Principal, Tim Greaves, gave his thoughts after the Chequered Flag had brought the Test Day to a conclusion.
“We are very pleased with the result overall. All the drivers drove well, though we had a few incidents, but we managed the car well. We are happy with the performance, though fuel consumption remains a bit of an issue.”
“Karim had a blow out going into Indianapolis, that was quite unexpected as the Dunlop tyres had been good all day. Karim did very well to save the car. Being stuck in the kitty litter cost us 45 minutes but the car was recovered with minimal damage, which the crew sorted in their usual exemplary fashion.”
“It was a good day at Le Mans in preparation for the Great Race.”