Terry Catches Up on 2015 World Endurance Series
Left early on the 30th to head down to Le Mans, Delay of 3 hours at the euro tunnel and we will soon be on our way.
We are out of Blighty now and arrive on French shores!!! Head down to Rouen a cheeky little stopover get and ready for the morning…. Le Mans!!
31st March 2015:
Wake up bright and early, the heavy wind kept us up most of the night but the sun is out and smiles on our faces, as we head off to the circuit, I’m driving and the rain has started pouring, its rare occasions like this that I’m not envious of the lads on track!
Hoping they will delay the start as conditions will be dangerous.
Arrived at the track, it’s a long time since I came through the Circuit gates, things have changed riders seem to be getting younger! Ha ha think it’s me getting older.
Rain has finally stopped although the wind is strong, had a long chat with Vincent Phillipe of SERT (Suzuki endurance team) “who said ” the wind is so blustery it has affected the bike on corner exits- it is light on the front end pushing the front wheel off line on the off the corners there by enabling a full throttle slingshot very difficult. He said that he would not be changing the chassis to much until tomorrow when conditions are improved and that the Dunlop slicks were working well.
Most of the teams started with wets in the morning but by this afternoon they were running full slicks as the circuit rapidly dried in the windy conditions, the sun made even made an appearance!
Had an interesting chat with Christophe Guyot (manager of the reigning 2014 World Champions GMT team) who told me that the new Yamaha Superbike is working well putting out over 200 BHP on his workshop Dyno, which is pretty impressive for a standard Superbike! It is interesting that GMT have changed to Dunlop from Michelin, Mich is not running a race service at the WEC rounds (probably due to them undertaking Moto GP testing for the upcoming 2016 Championship). I must say Christophe is one of the nicest guys in the business…
All the teams are taking it pretty steady which is mainly down to the weather and track conditions.
April fools day
2nd day of test! Sunny skies - although it’s supposed to cloud over later today, I have to say it is a nice change from the windy raining conditions of yesterday. And it shows because lots of bikes are out on track now, Le Mans is alive with the sound of screaming bikes going past pit lane (fantastic) and up along the pit straight sweeping in to the Dunlop chicane…
Later in the morning sees me walking down pit lane popping into garages catching up with the latest from the team managers and riders, some team members (mechanics/managers) are no different from my old racing days, there are also some teams that are first timers this year which is great to see, It’s really good to see the 24 hour classic still attracting top professional/amateur riders and teams from all over the world…
Most of the top teams, Suzuki, Yamaha GMT, Kawasaki official factory and Bolliger Kawasaki Team are running Pirelli and Dunlop. We have to remember that WEC is a non controlled tyre championship unlike BSB, WSB that run Pirelli only rubber, this in turn can make the whole race result get turned upside down depending on the weather conditions as some manufacturers Wet/Intermediate and slick tyres work better than others in the wet, dry, damp and cold conditions ..
1st April 2015 (PM)
All going well now as most teams have upped their game and are starting to put in quicker times, there is a bit of rubber from the slick tyres being laid down on the circuit. One thing to note is the GMT Yamaha looks really good for a brand new bike, it looks very user friendly and sounds fantastic, how reliable is it going to be we? We will have to wait for the race!!
I really think that the 2015 World Endurance series is going to be a cracker this year, make sure you tune in to Eurosport on the 18th of April I will be commentating live bringing you all of the action as it happens!! I can’t wait!!!!!
All the best
Terry and the GTC Team