Michelin Le Mans Cup has done their first collective test at Circuit Paul Ricard, ahead of the first round, which will be run at the same track this Saturday.
The 31 cars had a total of 7 hours available at the circuit, which gave the teams good opportunities to give plenty of laps for the two drivers of each car. A typical ELMS line-up consists of three drivers, but since they are four hour races, and LMC is just two, with a single pitstop in the middle, there is no need for more than two drivers per car.
The test was split up in a morning session and an afternoon session. It was dry for the first part, which made the teams do at least 35 laps each, with Graff #39 being the busiest with a total of 86 laps.
Lanan Racing #25 with Duncan Tappy and Michael Benham was fastest in the morning ahead of United Autosports #22 with Matt Bell and James McGuire, while the previously mention Graff #39 with Nicolas Schatz and Adrien Chila was P3.
The GT3 category had SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes #54 with Yannick Mettler and Dexter Müller the fastest in the morning practice, ahead of Luzich Racing Ferrari #71 with Mikkel Mac and Fabien Lavergne, while Kessel Racing Ferrari #8 with Giacomo Piccini and Sergio Pianezzola was the third fastest. It was quite a performance from Mac, since he hasn’t been in a race car since the season finale in late 2018. But it only took him a few laps to get up to speed again.
Just a few minutes after the conclusion of the morning session, it started to rain, and half an hour of precipitation made the track very moist at the start of the afternoon session. So there wasn’t much running in the first hour of that session, until the track had dried up. It wasn’t long of a break before showers started to drift over the track again, limiting the amount of running for the teams, since not many of them were fond of running in the rain. The session actually finished 15 minutes before time, due to very heavy rain and thunder, plus the Graff #9 stopping on the track.
United Autosports #22 with Matt Bell and James McGuire finished fastest in the LMP3 category, ahead of Graff #39 with Nicolas Schatz and Adrien Chila, and Lanan Racing #25 with Duncan Tappy and Michael Benham.
Mikkel Mac was the fastest in GT3 for Luzich Racing Ferrari #71, while his teammate Fabien Lavergne only got six laps in the car in the afternoon. Kessel Racing Ferrari #8 with Giacomo Piccini and Sergio Pianezzola was second fastest, while Scuderia Villorba Corse Mercedes #7 was the third fastest with Mauro Calamia and Roberto Pampanini.
The teams will be back on track Friday morning, where the first two practices will be run, before qualifying and race will be run on Saturday.