Testing times for Aylesbury duo ahead of Le Mans

Alex Kapadia in action during Sunday's Le Mans 24-Hours Pre-Test
Alex Kapadia in action during Sunday's Le Mans 24-Hours Pre-Test

Alex Kapadia was in action at the Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday to contest the Pre-Test ahead of the famous Le Mans 24-Hour Race.

Kapadia is set to compete in his first Le Mans in 10 days, and he joined his new team-mates Jun-San Chen and Xavier Maassen for the eight-hour test that is mandatory for all teams and drivers entered in the 2015 race.

Mixed weather conditions made driving difficult, and Kapadia’s car suffered some off-track excursions while Jun-San Chen was at the wheel. The Team AAI can suffered no damage, and they were able to complete their schedule of preparations during the day.

Kapadia said afterwards: “The most important thing was for all of us to complete the required laps to allow us to participate in official practice next week. The car performed well, and I think we are in good shape.

“To drive a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR around Le Mans was an amazing experience, and I am now looking forward to race week. I like the team very much, and I am getting to know everyone ahead of all the race activities.”

Kapadia has returned to the UK this week to enable him to race a Radical at Silverstone, before heading back to Le Mans on Monday to be present for the event’s scrutineering and documentation.

“I am having a very busy time at the moment, and being part of the Le Mans 24-Hours is such an amazing experience,” Kapadia added.

Aston Clinton’s Mark Webber was also in action and he saw his number 17 Porsche 919-Hybrid top the afternoon timesheets during the Pre-Test.

Webber’s car, coloured red for Le Mans, was the fastest LMP1 car for the majority of the day, and the local Aussie said: “Conditions were not ideal and actually were quite tricky at times. I think we proved that Porsche are up for the challenge and we will be looking for a good showing in qualifying next week.”

The car’s quickest lap was set by New Zealander Brendon Hartley, who added: “It feels fantastic to be back in Le Mans and out on track with our red number 17 for the first time.

“It was a productive start in the morning with testing in the dry, and then it was also good to gather experience in the wet. For the afternoon session we made a big step forward and the pace on the dry track was really good.”