Signature Plus: Consistent start to Le Mans 24 hours

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Signature Plus team has made a solid start to its second Le Mans 24 Hours race with consistent performances by all three of its drivers in theopening third of the event.

Franck Mailleux had the honour of starting Signature's second 24 Hours ofLe Mans at the La Sarthe at 15.00 local time this afternoon. The French driver made an excellent start making up one position on the opening lap to progress into the top ten, but an incident just a few laps later brought out the safety car. The team called Franck in for fuel under the caution conditions, but the safety car came in earlier than the team expected, which didn't play to his or the team's advantage. Nonetheless, Franck battled on hard and carried out five consecutive and extremely consistent stints, stopping for fresh Dunlop tyres on his third stop. The decision to maximise Franck's time in the car paid dividends and he had reclaimed a top ten slot just as the planned driver change occured four hours into the race. For Franck, it was a physically demanding start to his second Le Mans race but with no technical trouble from the Lola Aston Martin and an excellent performance from the Dunlop tyres, everything ran smoothly.

Vanina Ickx then assumed driving duties at around 18.45 and completed an equally trouble-free double stint, reclaiming a top ten position at the end of her run.

Pierre Ragues assumed control of the car shortly before 20.30 but a safety car period curtailed his first stint. Just as the safety car was about to come in, the car began to lose its power steering, so Pierre was forced to pit for a replacement power box. The team did its usual good job to get Pierre back out on track but in the process the team lost a total of 8 minutes and two track positions. Pierre resumed the race in 12th position and embarked on a further double stint.

Franck Mailleux said: "I got a good start and was able to get into the top ten but the early safety car did not help us at all. Even so, I pushed extremely hard and I was really pleased to set a strong and consistent pace across my five stints. The weather improved a lot since this morning and it was really quite hot this afternoon, but although it was physically a demanding beginning to the race, it was a consistent and positive start for us."

Pierre Ragues said: "We have made quite a good start to our 2010 Le Mans campaign and I have been pleased with the general performance of the car and the tyres. I am very happy with my own pace. We experienced a small issue with the power steering just at the end of my first stint, but the team did a great job to get me back out for a further two stints. It was a shame that we lost the time but that is part of the 24 Hours and with our performance, I am hopeful we can regain this lost ground."
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes