Pole for Jota!
17th June 2016
G-Drive Racing took a clear LMP2 pole position at the Le Mans 24 Hours last night with the No.26 ORECA-Nissan of Rene Rast, Roman Rusinov and Will Stevens setting the ultimate pace.
It was the third consecutive pole for G-Drive Racing in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship and earned another point in its quest for the championship.
Rene Rast was again the star of the LMP2 category which has a record 23 car field this year. Rast set the quickest time of 3m36.605s on Wednesday evening after a brilliant lap in the G-Drive Racing ORECA 05-Nissan.
In fact, Rast set two times which would have been good enough for the pole during the qualifying sessions to ensure the No.36 was never really challenged. Rene’s best lap was 0.5s ahead of the nearest LMP2 opposition to guarantee the best possible start to one of the world’s most gruelling and famous races.
Both the reigning FIA WEC LMP2 champion, Roman Rusinov, and the G-Drive Racing team’s new recruit for Le Mans, Will Stevens, contributed vital set-up work in readiness for the big race this Saturday.
G-Drive Racing’s other entry, the No.38 Gibson 015S-Nissan of Giedo van der Garde, Jake Dennis and Simon Dolan will start from 12th position in class this Saturday.
The 2014 Le Mans winning car completed its planned programme during the practice sessions but like many entries was thwarted from any significant progress due to a succession of heavy rain showers that hit the track on Thursday evening.
All three of the No.38 drivers completed solid preparatory laps during the running, including Jake Dennis, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Thursday. The young British star has shown himself to be one of the standout rookies at Le Mans so far this year.
After a successful start to the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours, the G-Drive Racing squad now readies itself for the race which is scheduled to start at 15.00 local time on Saturday afternoon.
René Rast – No.26 G-Drive Racing ORECA-Nissan
“The quick laps I did were good ones but it is hard to tell how much quicker we could have gone because of the weather. I am satisfied we are on pole position so we have the best possible start for the beginning of the race. The G-Drive Racing team was excellent again and it is nice to show what we can do, but the big test comes this weekend.”
Roman Rusinov – No.26 G-Drive Racing ORECA-Nissan
“It was a great team effort to secure the pole position. Rene showed he was in a different class with those times and we are all really proud and happy. But of course this is a very small part of what we have to achieve. We know there will be some very strong competition, but so far we have shown good pace and consistency, so we enter the race with additional confidence.”
Jake Dennis – No.38 G-Drive Racing Gibson-Nissan
“It was really hard for all of us to get a true clear lap out there, especially when the conditions were at their best in qualifying but we went through our programme and we are confident we have a strong car for the race.
“For me personally it has been an amazing experience so far with G-Drive Racing. The level of preparation and organisation for this race is incredible from the team. I did my first night stint on Wednesday and I felt good right away. Giedo (van der Garde), Simon (Dolan) and I have formed a nice team and we enter the race in a really good frame of mind.”
Gary Holland – Team Manager, G-Drive Racing
“I think it is a measure of Rene as a driver what he achieved again here in qualifying. We would like to again thank Audi for loaning him to us.
“We are very happy with pole position, but as we know it is only a very small percentage of getting the job here done. We will now re-group and concentrate on the race. It is another point for us so we are pleased with that. All the drivers in the No.26 G-Drive car had a hand in the set-up so thanks to them for a great job as well.
“It has been a positive week for us so far, so we are looking forward to carrying this momentum through in to this very tough race.”