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09.09.2011

Summary of Free Practice 1

The FLM09 left the pits exactly on time to start the first Free Practice session of the weekend. Technical Director Mike Sweeney quoted: ďThe team is itching to get to work. After a long break, itís great to be back out on the circuit.Ē

Phil Keen stepped in first, one of three Formula Le Mans cars to take to the track. Immediately his pace was quick, with times in the low two minutes, ahead in the class by quite a distance. On lap 4, the no.95 Oreca prototype jumped in front, but only for a short while as Phil came back to complete the following lap in 2min0.7secs, beating the Pegasus team by a whole second, less than two seconds off the LMP2 cars. A quick pitstop brought the FLM09 in, tyres were checked and Phil set off out again, just before he produced his fastest lap of the session, 2min0.2secs. Once out of the car, he stated: ďLast time I raced here in a GT car, the pace was about 10 seconds slower, so itís great to have the power to produce quicker lap times.Ē

On lap 10, John Hartshorne took to the wheel of the prototype, starting out well with times of around 2min11secs, this being his second visit to the arena track. Several minutes later, John completed the quickest lap of his stint, a 2min08secs, which pleased him highly. After the practice, he commented: ďIím very happy to be back in the car and Iím pleased with my stint. I need to carry speed all the way through the corners; this will help me knock 2-3 seconds off my times. I canít wait to get back in!Ē

The FLM09 was driven by Steve Keating in the last ten minutes of the session. Like John, this was just his second time around the new Silverstone circuit and their pace was very similar. Steveís fastest lap time achieved was a 2min09secs, although he had less running time than the other two drivers.

The second Free Practice session is to start in just under an hour, (5pm).

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