Signature Plus: 11th on the grid for 24 hours of Le Mans

Friday, June 11, 2010

Signature Plus Le Mans Aston Martin RAcing
Signature Plus team will the 78th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans from a highly respectable 11th position after a difficult day of qualifying on Thursday.

The team was unfortunately unable to improve upon their best lap time from Wednesday's first qualifying as a result of technical trouble and poor weather conditions at the La Sarthe circuit. Although all three of Signature's drivers were able to get re-acquainted with the Le Mans track and with night-time driving, the team opted not to run with softer compound Dunlop tyres on Wednesday, instead deciding to focus on optimising performance for Thursday's decisive sessions.

However, the track remained green for the first of Thursday's two-hour sessions after heavy rain earlier in the day, while a fuel tank leak in the final qualifying session prevented the drivers from improving their times.

For Signature, it will be the second participation in the prestigious Le Mans event, but their first as official LMP1 partners of Aston Martin Racing. After a breakthrough performance at the last round of the Le Mans Series in Spa-Francorchamps, the team is in a solid position for this weekend's Le Mans race with flexibility and endurance the key parameters over the complete 24 hours.

Franck Mailleux said: "It is good to take a 11th grid position for Le Mans even if the top ten was ours since we kept it until the last 3 minutes of the session last night, where durability over the race distance is more important than qualifying itself. Of course I would have loved to have had a shot at improving our qualifying time in the second of today's sessions but technical trouble can happen and it is better that it happens before the race rather than during. We have still managed to carry out some good work with the car set-up and tyre performance, so I think we are in the best shape possible in spite of the limited running this evening. On Friday, we have some meetings with the team to finalise preparations while us drivers will all attend the legendary parade at 6pm, something I look forward to after my experiences from last year."

Pierre Ragues said: "The team has done a great job this weekend with some difficult circumstances including mixed weather conditions and some technical difficulties on Thursday evening. We can be pleased with our qualifying result, especially considering our times on wednesday and yesterday were not set in full qualifying configuration. This race is more about the teamwork and adaptability over the 24 hours rather than performance over one lap, and I think we are a very solid unit heading into the race. Before that we have some further discussions today and of course the famous drivers parade which is always a great atmosphere."
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