KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) enjoyed a successful Le Mans 24 Hours Test Day (June 4-5) and the team now look toward the race week, which begins with the traditional Scrutineering at the Place de la République (June 12).
British drivers Matt Howson and Richard Bradley, alongside Japanese pilot Tsugio Matsuda, achieved a solid sixth fastest LMP2 class time during the test – tactically refusing to show their full potential during their first 2016 Le Mans track outing in front of all their rivals.
The Hong Kong-based team is looking to retain its LMP2 Le Mans title, having finished first in class last year. The car that saw them take victory in La Sarthe – the #47 ORECA 05-Nissan – once again showed a lot of promise in last weekend’s test. The drivers are pleased with this year’s car, and the outfit believe they have the pace and reliability to be in contention for the win once more.
Matsuda, Howson and Bradley, the latter two of which were part of the winning team in 2015, managed a time of 3:38.486 in the #47 car after running for a combined total of 70 laps around the 13.629 kilometre circuit.
Now the focus turns to the race week, which kicks off with le Pesage on the Sunday (June 12) with the ORECA 05-Nissan set to attend Scrutineering at 15:20, 30 minutes after the admin checks, which begin at 14:50. On the following Tuesday there will be the drivers’ autograph session (June 14), before the first bit of on-track action since the test gets underway with practice on Wednesday (June 15).
KCMG will also run a Porsche 911 RSR at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours. The #78 machine currently lies fourth in the GTE Am class in the FIA World Endurance Championship, and it enjoyed a constructive test at Le Mans – with drivers Joel Camathias, Wolf Henzler and Chris Reid recording the seventh fastest time (3:59.374). Their admin checks are set to get underway at 15:00 on the same Sunday with Scrutineering starting at 15:30.
Tsugio Matsuda: “It was my first time driving the ORECA 05-Nissan at La Sarthe – I had a very good impression of the car and felt that it is a very competitive package. The data that we got from the sessions gave the entire crew the insight that we needed to be prepared for the coming week and of course, the big race. Once again, thank you to all our supporters and we’re looking forward to seeing you all at the upcoming Scrutineering this weekend.”
Matt Howson: “The pre-test test at Le Mans went better than we could have hoped, acting as a shakedown and systems check we were actually able to do some benchmark runs and get some idea of where to start on race week. The level is very high this year, but it’s clear we are in contention again. We look forward to putting our experience into practice next week, and can be confident of challenging for victory again.”
Richard Bradley: “The test went really well. I think it was an amazing effort by the team because the car hasn’t run since the end of last season. But the team did a fantastic job – the speed was good we definitely did not show all our cards and I think we can go to the race feeling confident that we can retain our title. But of course, the first thing is to finish the race to win Le Mans – which is a lot easier said than done. We will not be complacent and will continue to work hard to claim victory.”
Le Mans 24 Hours calendar of events
Sunday 12th June: Scrutineering at Place de la République
Monday 13th June: Scrutineering at Place de la République
Tuesday 14th June: Official drivers photo, fan autograph session
Wednesday 15th June: Fan pitwalk, free practice, qualifying practice
Thursday 16th June: Qualifying practice
Friday 17th June: Drivers’ Parade
Saturday 18th June: Warm up, start of 84th Le Mans 24 Hours at 15:00
Sunday 19th June: Finish of 84th Le Mans 24 Hours, podium celebrations
For more information about KCMG please visit www.kcmg.com.hk. To keep track of all the latest updates, please like KCMG’s Facebook page or follow @KCMotorgroup