LE MANS
Ascari At Le Mans
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17/06/2001
 
Race
Morning
 


Team Ascari are ready to go and tackle their first Le mans 24 Hours. That is the message from team founder and driver Klaas Zwart and team manager Ian Dawson.

Zwart, who is realising his dream of fielding two of his own creations in the race said: "Waking up this morning and realising that two Ascaris will be starting this great race felt pretty good," said Klaas. At lunchtime the team's sponsors were chaperoned by Klaas around the paddock and enjoyed the superb hospitality of Fred and Lena, and then oggled at the beautiful KZ1 road car that was attracting onlookers by the minute.

Just an hour to go before the start and the team have a successful warm up behind them where the two A410's wound up 15th and 16th quickest with the Lupberger / Collins and Toivonen car ahead with a 3:51.708s, #21 setting an equally solid 3:54.017.



Team manager Ian Dawson was in his usual calm and confident mood and expressed his pleasure in how the warm up went for the team: "Everything is in place now for the start and we had a good briefing last night where we decided that Werner will start with Ben and then Harri. They will all do double stints and then we will see how are fixed after that. As we are in France we thought it would be diplomatic to let Xavier start and then we will have Scott and Klaas after that." And the all important question over what the weather will do, " We are happy if it is wet. No problems at all, the Goodyears are fantastic in semi-wet or full wet conditions so we have nothing to fear on that score."

What made the flying lap by Ben Collins in Warm Up all the more encouraging was that Ben only completed one flying lap and felt that the car had at least a 3m47 in it. Given the opportunity of more lappery he would have made it in to the top seven. Ben was pleased with the lap, despite feeling some pressure during that one important lap: "There was a fair bit, but nothing that any of us won't face in the race. The car and the engine ran perfectly and we are raring to go."

The spare oil cooler made up at Alan Docking's Silverstone factory was delivered last night and fitted this morning. The Doc's prescription was well received!

The final parades and assorted routines were carried out on the main straight amid scattered showers that did nothing to dampen the spirits of the drivers as they were driven past the packed grandstand. As the Ascari A410's were drapped in the Union Jack, the drivers waved to the fans and Harri Toivonen who has been through it all before, lapped it up all over again: "You will never get tired of Le Mans. All this before the race, it is just fantastic for the crowd to see the cars and the drivers at close quarters and it really revs everyone up for the race."














Official website of the Le Mans 24 Hours
Official website of the Le Mans 24 Hours

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