More than 23,000 spectators showed up at the 80th 24 Hours of Le Mans Test Day to watch 61 cars make their first laps around Circuit de la Sarthe. Audi proved to be the quickest with their two R18 e-tron Quattro hybrids, with the #3 Audi R18 Ultra taking the third fastest spot overall.
The LMP1 class had a great showing with Allan McNish running the fastest time in the test session overall in the #2 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro with a lap time of 3:25.927. The #1 R18 e-tron Quattro was second fastest overall, with only 0.541 seconds separating the two. The #3 Audi R18 Ultra of Dumas/Duval/Gene finished third overall with a laptime of 3:26.561. McNish’s day ended early when driver error caused him to have an off into the armco near Tetre Rouge.
While everyone expected the Audis to be very fast, the big surprise of the day was how competitive the two Toyota TS030 Hybrids were, finishing 4th and 5th fastest overall, and ahead of the #4 Audi R18 Ultra. The #7 Toyota TS030 of Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima turned a fast lap of 3:27.204 and the #8 Toyota TS030 of Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin turned a fast lap of 3:28.298. Audi driver Allan McNish stated, “The Toyotas amazed me. At top speed they were much quicker than us!”
The #21 Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03a of Leventis/Watts/Kane finished fastest overall of the petrol powered LMP1 cars with a time of 3:34.243, while the two Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60 coupes rounded out the top three fastest petrol LMP1 cars. The Pescarolo team struggled a bit with their two cars due to the lack of testing prior to this test day, but are showing promise of having cars that can keep pace.
Oak Racing dominated the LMP2 class in the #35 Morgan-Judd car which was quickest in both morning and afternoon sessions. Olivier Pla drove the car to a fast lap of 3:41.291 ahead of the Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-03b and the Jota Zytek Nissan Z11SN.
Frederick Makowiecki in the #59 Luxury Racing Ferrari 458GT set the fast lap in the extremely competitive GTE-Pro class with a 3:58.869, ahead of Oliver Gavin who trailed by only 0.102 seconds in the #74 Corvette Racing C6-ZR1. Aston Martin Racing snagged the fast lap of the day in GTE-AM with a 3:59.938 in the #43 Vantage V8, ahead of several GTE-Pro cars.
Today was also the first chance for the public to see the Nissan Delta Wing on-track at race speeds and turned a fast lap of 3:47.980. The Delta Wing will run in the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but will be non-classified.
A full list of Le Mans Test Day results can be found here. The 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held in 2 weeks on the 16th/17th of June.