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Jun 13, 2014 - 06:23 AM
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2014 Le Mans 24: KCMG Qualify Seventh For Le Mans 24 Hours
Posted by: newsla on Jun 13, 2014 - 06:20 AM
Le Mans News
2014 Le Mans 24: KCMG Qualify Seventh For Le Mans 24 Hours

KC Motorgroup Ltd’s (KCMG) #47 Oreca 03R-Nissan heads into this weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours firmly in the hunt for LMP2 class victory after setting the seventh fastest time during this evening’s qualifying session at Circuit de la Sarthe (June 12).


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Just one second separated Alexandre Imperatori from the LMP2 pole time, suggesting that the car he shares with Richard Bradley and Matt Howson has the pace to mix it with the class’ other front-runners come Saturday. And significantly, the Chinese squad will line up as the second quickest FIA World Endurance Championship entry for the only double points-paying round of the season.

KCMG had occupied third in class overnight following Wednesday evening’s single qualifying run, but slipped down the order as darkness fell during Thursday’s two truncated sessions. Indeed, with just 20 minutes remaining, Imperatori – on fresh tyres and low fuel – was winding up for an all-out attack on pole position only to be thwarted by a caution period that prevented any further improvements being made.

Nevertheless, two trouble-free days of running and excellent raw pace have left the team confident of making a bigger impression come this Saturday and Sunday’s race.

Richard Bradley: “We were unlucky in qualifying as each time one of us went out to set a proper lap someone else seemed to be having an accident! But that's the way it goes. The grid position doesn’t reflect our true pace, but the great thing is that a lot can happen over 24 hours. You can start last and still come through, so I’m not concerned at all.”

Matt Howson: “We’re actually a little bit disappointed to have qualified seventh after being in the top three or four over the last couple of days. The number of red flags and Slow Zones meant we probably didn’t have the optimum set-up for qualifying. However, we do know the car will be very good in race trim, which is much more important over a 24-hour race. So yes, we’d like to be a bit further up the grid but our attention is firmly on this weekend’s race.”

Alex Imperatori: “I’d say we’re feeling satisfied even though we might have done a bit better. Because of the late accident I couldn’t really go for the lap I wanted at the end, which had the potential to put us in the top four or thereabouts. But the most important thing is the race, and in that regard we’re well prepared. We haven’t had any problems and can be confident in the car’s pace as well.”

Bradley, Howson and Imperatori will all be at the traditional Drivers’ Parade in downtown Le Mans tomorrow afternoon ahead of the race’s 82nd running on Saturday, which gets underway at 15:00 local time.

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