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01.07.2011

Free Practice 2 résumé

Phil Keen was first out again for Free Practice 2, half an hour later than planned as the track had been too wet to start on time.

Nine minutes in, only nine cars has attempted to tackle Imola in the wet, and Phil set the fastest overall time in the low 2mins, beating LMP1/P2 cars. After completing 4 laps, and leading the field of Formula Le Mans, the car came in for a driver change, where Steve took the wheel to experience the circuit for the first time.

Immediately potential was shown, and the lap times dropped to 2min11.1secs (an improvement of 7 seconds) in 5 laps, considering that light rain was still falling on the slippery surface.

On his 8th tour however, due to breaking too late on the humid tarmac, Steve spun at the entry to turn 14, but thankfully kept the car on the track. He came into the pits for the car to have a quick check over, before rejoining minutes later, to set a 2min10.5sec lap, faster than before, still ahead in the Oreca 09 group.

Rain began to fall heavier again, Steve arrived back in the pits to let Phil have another couple of laps. Sure enough, a few minutes in the seat dropped his time to an incredible 2min03.2secs.

Steve, having never driven here before, was extremely pleased at his first run; quoting: "The circuit is mad, especially between turns 15 and 16, where the direction and speed change so quickly." He also compared his practice to his experience in the simulator, saying that there were a few surprises he wasn't expecting, such as differences in the surface on the main straight, but only minor details. All in all, the drivers finished the day smiling, eager to get back in the Formula Le Mans tomorrow.

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