The track action for the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans begins today. We spoke Bykolles driver Dominik Kraihamer, who is competing at Le Mans for the seventh year in succession, about his hopes for qualifying and the race itself.
“Test Day went well overall,” Kraihamer said. “However, we were a little surprised at the straight-line pace of the LMP2s – which were topping the speed traps at 340km/h. We were looking to find an optimum balance so that we weren’t compromising too much on pace, but also weren’t causing too much wear in the corners. It’s important that the car is relatively comfortable to drive for the entire 24 hours.”
“In terms of one-lap pace, we think we can aim to be around 1.5 to 2 seconds quicker than the P2s,” the Austrian added. “But our pace on the long runs is a little more positive. The car was brilliant to drive through the Porsche Curves, even better than last year’s Rebellion R-One – very stable at the rear, with slight understeer.”
“Obviously reliability will be key over the 24 hours,” he said. “Arguably the greatest question mark is over the engine, as it is new in the car and hasn’t run 24 hours before. I’m pretty confident looking ahead to the race, but we will have to see whether we can last the full 24 hours. If we can, anything can happen.”
Kraihamer is new to the Bykolles outfit, having only joined the team at the start of the year, but is impressed by the attitude “The team is brilliant, the guys work so hard. At Spa we came through the race without any issues for the first time in a while, so that was great for our preparations. There is definitely a degree of momentum in the garage, and everyone is in great spirits. For us drivers the most important thing is to not put a foot wrong. Marco [Bonanomi], Oli [Webb] and I have a great deal of experience here, so I definitely think we are capable of coming through the race trouble-free.”
Free Practice for the 24 Hours of Le Mans begins today at 16:00 local time, before the cars take to the circuit for the first qualifying session at 22:00 local time.