Aylesbury duo gear up for Le Mans

Mark Webber will take part in the Le Mans Pre-Test on Sunday for Porsche
Mark Webber will take part in the Le Mans Pre-Test on Sunday for Porsche

Aylesbury Vale racers Mark Webber and Alex Kapadia will be in France this weekend to participate in the Le Mans 24-Hours Pre-Test at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The test kicks-off the on-track action for the 2015 running of the world’s most famous motor race, with all competitors and teams taking the opportunity to use eight hours of track time to finalise preparations ahead of the race meeting itself.

Aston Clinton’s Webber will drive the number 17 Porsche 919-Hybrid with Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley. The trio have yet to win this season, despite showing good pace, but did finish on the podium in the last round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Spa earlier this month.

Three Porsche 919-Hybrid cars will take part in the race, with Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb driving the number 18 entry. Earl Bamber, Nick Tandy and Nico Hulkenberg will drive the number 19 car. Fred Makowiecki will be present as the team’s reserve driver.

Webber said this week: “The whole WEC has its primary focus on Le Mans. This is the race that everyone wants to win.

“This test day allows us all to drive on the track for the first time this season. As part of it is public roads, it is important to see how the road changes can alter the characteristics of your car. A strong performance in the test can lead to added confidence for the race week.”

Alex Kapadia tasted the Le Mans track for the first time last year at the Pre-Test as a driver for the Murphy Prototypes team. This time, Kapadia will fulfil his ambition and line-up in the actual entry list.

As reported last week in the Bucks Herald, Kapadia will drive a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for the Team AAI squad. The Pitstone racer will share driving duties with Xavier Maasen and Han-Chen Chen.

Kapadia, whose car will contest the LM GTE-Am class, said: “I am so looking forward to the test. This is an important weekend, and I am looking to get to learn about the track and get to know my team.

“I think we are in a good position to go well, and my aim for Sunday is to have a trouble-free day and make sure we have a strong focus for the race week.”

The Pre-Test action starts at 9am on Sunday.