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O’CONNELL: Back at Le Mans

Johnny O’Connell on his return to Le Mans, test day achievements…

Photo: ProSpeed Competition

Photo: ProSpeed Competition

Since arriving in France last Friday I have been totally flat out.

After landing in Paris I went directly to practice in the ACO simulator. This is a mandatory session required now for rookies and those that have not been in the race for five years.

From there it was straight to the track to meet the Rudi Penders and his ProSpeed Competition team and begin the process of getting comfortable in the car.

Yesterday was test day, and it went well for us. It was mostly a shakedown as the team only acquired the car the previous week.

So literally everyone was finding their places and learning about the car. Not an easy thing.

After sorting through a few small issues we were able to get to work on working to find a balance in the car.

We are not quite there yet as everyone also needed their mandatory laps to qualify to run the race. By the time we come back in a week we will be in a better place.

Le Mans is special. When your car is dialed in there it’s magical. When it’s even a little bit off, well you better have you’re “A” game ready.

Mistakes at Le Mans can lead to big issues. The No. 57 Corvette for us was leaning way too far to the over steering side of things, and though we improved it, we are still a few tweaks away from getting her where she is both fast and comfortable to drive.

For the week, I’m hanging out in a town called La Rochelle to do some sightseeing as well as some training.

Funny in that in all the years I’ve raced here, rarely did I get out and explore France, though when my son Canaan was with me in 2007 we had a Corvette Z06 and got to visit Normandy as well as some other cool places.

We will go through the tradition of scrutineering next Monday which marks the beginning of what will be a very intense and focused week.

Johnny O'Connell (@JohnnyOConnell1) is a three-time American Le Mans Series champion and four-time class winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving for Team Cadillac in the Pirelli World Challenge.


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