It wasn’t a fantastic qualifying for Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Darren Turner in Aston Martin Racing #95 for today’s FIA World Endurance Championship race at Sebring.
The Dane train qualified in tenth place in GTE Pro, just ahead of their sister car that closed the field. However, #97 had had some technical problems on the car, which kept Maxime Martin from setting any real laptime.
But already before qualifying, Marco Sørensen had no big expectations for the weekend, even though #97 had been the fastest in both FP1 and FP2, but despite everything, there was still a careful optimism.
“Yes, but it was over one lap – you don’t win a race that way. We can’t say too much before we actually get into the race. You need to do a compromise at the start of the race (with setup, ed.), since the balance changes a lot when we reach the later point, where it’s dark and cold. There will be a change of balance. Because there aren’t many hours of daylight, out of the eight.”
The track is built up of concrete instead of asphalt, and it poses another challenge.
“The concrete is usually pretty constant to drive on, because it doesn’t really change the grip. There is actually a lot of grip on the concrete, where asphalt will collect more dirt once in a while. I think there will be so much rubber on the track, that the lines become slower to drive on. There are already some rubber streaks on the track, so they come quickly. You just don’t have the grip – no surface to drive.”
Does the car’s springs differ due to the concrete pieces and the incredibly bumpy track?
“It doesn’t change that much. They (the springs, ed.) are made to take so many humps anyway, so there are some adjustments that we make. But it’s not like we’re driving with softer or harder springs. We’re driving pretty much the same as we used to. We adjust the bump and rebound, and all of that, to get it to be absorbed better. There’s not much you can do – it still jumps and dances around.”
He’s hoping for a good race, but at the same time, fearing there will be problems with accidents at the evening.
“There are many Am drivers, who only drive in the dark at Le Mans, and it was a long time ago. So it could give some disruptions. But let’s hope we won’t get involved in any of those – knock on wood.”
We’ll see how it goes for Aston Martin Racing #95, when the 1000 Miles race at Sebring starts at 16.00 locat time – 21.00 CET.