Di Resta completes first LMP2 testposted in IMSA09 | 11 | 2017

    BATHGATE’S PAUL DI RESTA, who remains in contention for the 2018 Williams F1 seat, has completed his first LMP2 test ahead of his sportscar debut in the Daytona 24 Hours in January. (Related: Paul di Resta to make sportscar debut)

    The 31-year-old Scot shared the United Autosports Ligier JS P217 at Paul Ricard, in southern France, with European Formula 3 champion Lando Norris.

    And Di Resta, who was only able to attend the first day of the two-day test before flying to Brazil to undertake his Sky Sports F1 pundit duties at Interlagos this weekend, was delighted with the experience. (Related: Di Resta tests Williams F1 car)

    “It was pretty full-on, as you would expect, but it was hugely beneficial,” Di Resta, who will partner the team’s European Le Mans Series racer Will Owen, and a yet-to-be-confirmed driver, at Daytona, said today before jumping on a flight to Brazil.

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    “I completed 53 laps, and just under 200 miles in the car. For a first-time endurance test and race preparation, I was very happy with it.”

    The Scot set a best time of 1min 53.14secs on the 3.63-mile Le Castellet circuit, which was faster than the European Le Mans Series qualifying time set in the same car at the track by Filipe Albuquerque (1:53.530s) back in August.

    “It was very different to anything I had experienced previously,” Di Resta continued. “The car was also a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be, but it’s a very good package and a really nice car to drive.

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    “It has great aerodynamics, and I felt more than comfortable in the car which, given my height, I was slightly concerned about.

    “It’s also obviously a completely different tyre to what I’m used to, but I’m mature enough now, and I’ve driven enough different cars to know you just need to work your way through it and find the limits.

    “It’s not on the edge like an F1 or a DTM car, in respect of the fact it’s a bit more compliant within its design. But fundamentally, when you get into the nitty-gritty of it, at Daytona you have to be at the top of your game and maximise the full performance from the car.”

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    And the Scot, who is unlikely to drive the car again before the official test at Daytona on January 5-7, stressed he approached his first outing purely as a familiarisation exercise.

    “As much as the test day was short and sharp, it was purely to give me some seat time, and to make sure I could fit and be comfortable,” Di Resta explained.

    “For me, the main goal of that test was simply to familiarise myself with the car, the procedures, and the team. Just to get a feel for it.

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    “But fundamentally, when you get into the nitty-gritty of it, the real work will start at Daytona. That’s where you have to be at the top of your game and maximise the full performance from the car.

    “The team’s going to Daytona with one aim in mind, and that’s to win the race. I’m determined to play a big part in that result.”

    Related: Di Resta impresses on F1 return

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    Jim McGill

     

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